Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia recently claimed with a straight face that in the first hundred days of his administration in office, a plethora of colorful achievements that have been chalked include the clearance of 11,000 nurses to start work.

From the horse’ own mouth however, the Coalition of Unemployed Bonded Diploma Nurses has angrily refuted the claim.

In a recent press statement, the nurses dismissed the Vice President’s claim as nothing but a confident lie.

“We bring to his notice that (even) February 2015 batch of diploma nurses are still battling with (un)employment in this country,” a statement signed by President of the Coalition, James Aguri said.

The statement itself had been written in the heat of picketing at the Ministry of Health in Accra, where the angry unemployed nurses, had slept over on Monday night, acting out a resolution to sleep at the Ministry until they are cleared to start work.

In line with that action, the angry nurses had gone to the Ministry of Health with mattresses, pillows, bed sheets and tooth brushes among other personal effects to enable them spend the night at least in cold comfort.

After the first sleep over on Monday, the extreme type of picketing was repeated on Tuesday, because Health Minister, Kweku Agyemang Manu, whom the angry nurses had intended to confront, refused to turn up at the office yesterday.

In a feeble attempt at damage control, some workers at the Ministry had told the picketing nurses that the Minister had traveled outside the country, but the nurses did not believe a word of what was told them.

Meanwhile, after spending two days in the cold, mosquito infested corridors of the Health Ministry, the nurses say they are changing their picketing location today, from Ministries to Flagstaff House where they can register their protest to the Presidency itself.

Hopefully, the leadership of the nurses says, they will be able to meet Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia and present themselves to him so he can review his recent claim that the Akufo-Addo government has employed 11,000 nurses in just the first hundred days in office.

It is not clear if the angry nurses will sleep over at the Flagstaff House too just like they did at the Ministry of Health for two days, if their demands to be employed are not met.

In a 24th April statement, the Coalition of Unemployed Diploma Nurses, comprising of Psychiatric, Midwifery and General Nurses, explained that they have been stranded at home since August 2016, when they completed their National Service.

Numbering about 937, they explain that their unemployment had been totally ignored by the NPP government after they had completed school in February 2016, in spite of the fact that the current administration had promised them employment during the 2016 election campaign.

Totally disappointed with the turn of events, they said their leadership had decided to picket at the Health Ministry on 28th March 2017, in the course of which Health Minister, Kweku Agyeman Manu, had engaged them in a meeting to dissuade them from the picketing.

At the meeting, the Minister had been eloquent and boldly promised them to give him two weeks to fix the problem of their long pending non clearance to start work.

However, on 11the April 2017, the leadership of the nurses returned to the Minister to get news about their clearance only for the Minister to rudely tell them to return home since the Finance Ministry had not done any clearance.

“The leadership and the group as a whole find it so disgusting and disheartening to sit and allow these agencies play with our future and for this reason, we are coming out in our numbers to fight for what is rightfully due us.” The statement said.

Angered by the attitude of the Minister, the unemployed nurses demanded that President Akufo-Addo should sack the Health Minister, who in addition to being rude, they said was grossly incompetent.

“We want to emphatically and without hesitation state that the minister has failed us in our agreement and we therefore call on his Excellency the president of the republic of Ghana to fire him because he is not a man of his word and also exhibiting gross incompetence at his Ministry.”

They then served notice that, “We are therefore picketing at the premises of the ministry of health on Monday with our mattresses, sponges, toothpaste and brushes to sleep there for as long as it will take us to get cleared and posted.”

The angry nurses have since spent two nights on the cold corridors of the Ministry of Health in Accra. Sector Minister, Kweku Agyeman Manu, has since also boycotted his own office, apparently avoiding any personal confrontation with the nurses.

Some workers at the Ministry have told the picketing nurses that Mr. Agyeman Manu had traveled outside the country but the angry nurses have taken it with a pinch of salt.

They explain that they are constrained to picket at the Ministry because most of them have been ejected by their landlords because of their inability to pay rent in their state of unemployment.

The angry nurses lamented in the statement that they have been staying home for 9 whole months since they completed school without the promised employment from the NPP government which waxed lyrical about giving nurses jobs during the 2016 election campaigns.

In the truism of that fact, they said Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia had not spoken the truth when he recently claimed that in their first hundred days in office, up to 11,000 nurses have been employed.

“We received our pins and licenses as professional nurses in August 2016 which will expire in June 2017 and Nurses and Midwifery Council (NMC) will expect us to pay for renewal,” they lamented.

“His Excellency the Vice President of Ghana has not been fair to the good people of Ghana telling them that they have issued 11,000 clearances to nurses in their first 100 days in office, we therefore bring to his notice that February 2015 batch of diploma nurses are still battling with (un)employment in this country.”



Source: / Saul Paul



The Republic News Online

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