Students and educators at five schools of nursing in Delta State have protested against the proposed strike by the National Association of Nigerian Nurses and Midwives.
The schools include School of Nursing, Agbor; School of Midwifery, Sapele; School of Midwifery, Asaba; School of Nursing, Eku; and School of Nursing, Warri.
The peaceful protesters, led by the principals of the five schools on Thursday, to the Nigeria Labour Congress secretariat in Asaba, condemned the association’s motive for industrial action.
Nduka Egwulu, principal of School of Nursing, Agbor, said that the association had demanded, among other issues, the reversion of transfer of lecturers in the state, adding that such demand was “a purely civil service matter.”
Other principals who joined the protest argued that the proposed strike would further disrupt the academic calendar after the COVID-19 lockdown.
They pointed out that internal issues within the association could be resolved through other diplomatic channels rather than embarking on strike.
Leaders of the students’ union governments of the schools said the planned strike would cause further hardship.
“Any strike, as proposed, will mean that all students’ activities will be altered, and this could mean that we will spend more than three years in school. We oppose any attempt and by any person or group of persons towards causing problems through a strike or by any other means that will lead to the extension of our course duration,” said one of the students’ representatives.
Addressing the protesters, the Delta State Chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress, Goodluck Ofobruku, said the state government had invited organized labour for deliberations on issues that affect nurses and midwives in the state.
Ofoburuku, who appreciated their concern for uninterrupted nursing education in the state, said the complaints by the state chapter of the National Association of Nigerian Nurses and Midwives would be a win-win resolution of the issues.