Monthly Archives: July 2014

Doctors’ Strike: HAPPYNigeria Calls for Speedy Resolution of Health Sector Disputes




Health Advocacy, Promotion and Partnership by Youths in Nigeria (HAPPYNigeria) is a national youth-led, not-for–profit, non-governmental organization established in 2006. HAPPYNigeria inspires the Nigerian youth to continuously challenge and expand the role of both the individual and institutions in addressing Nigeria’s Health and developmental needs in order to foster public health care quality improvement.

The recurrent resort to industrial action by various professional unions in the public health sector is a serious cause of concern to us, as it is to other well-meaning Nigerians.

For the umpteenth time, the ailing public health system in the country has again been paralyzed due to the ongoing nationwide strike action embarked upon by the doctors under the aegis of Nigerian Medical Association (NMA). It was reported that the doctors downed tools following an alleged inability of government to accede to various demands contained in their 24-request protest letter.

Media reports suggest that government-owned health facilities across the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory are deserted with only skeletal services being rendered by few consultants and other health workers. The effects of the ongoing nationwide strike action by the doctors, commenced 1st July 2014, are monumental and devastating. Many sick children and pregnant women who require urgent attention by the doctors are being denied. All over the country, thousands of surgical cases that require surgical operation have been put on hold with dire consequences. This ugly situation, we believe, must have led to loss of numerous innocent and precious lives.

In the interest of teeming Nigerian masses, HAPPYNigeria calls for immediate resolution of the on-going industrial dispute in the health sector. Relevant government agencies should intervene with a view to finding lasting solution to the impasse. NMA should sheathe their sword in the overall interest of their patients and the downtrodden. Going forward, we implore government at all levels to be proactive in addressing industrial disharmony in heath and allied sectors in order to avert these incessant strike actions being embarked upon by doctors and other health workers and its attendant loss of human lives and economic misfortune.

Finally, in order to ensure lasting peace and restore normalcy to the Nigerian health sector, HAPPYNigeria calls on government to, as a matter of national top priority, convoke a National Health Stakeholders’ Summit (or any other name government may choose to call it) to discuss and come up with workable solutions to the lingering inter-professional conflicts and poor funding facing the country’s health system. This will go a long way to restore dignity and confidence of Nigerians in our health system.



[Laz Ude Eze]: 11 Questions for My Rep – Hon. Linus Abaa Okorie


Hon. Linus A. Okorie

Hon. Linus A. Okorie

Tuesday, June 5, 2014 made it exactly 3 years that Hon. Linus Abaa Okorie was sworn in as the 4th representative of Ohaozara/Onicha/Ivo Federal Constituency since 1999. I sent a congratulatory email to my representative and also asked some pertinent questions as a friend and concerned constituent. Part of the mail read;

“As you are very much aware, you enjoyed overwhelming goodwill from our people particularly the youth. Your entry into the race and eventual victory gave me and many of my friends hope that your era would be the best in terms of quality of representation. You started quite well, communicating regularly with constituents, online and offline; sharing your vision and thoughts and getting inputs as well. That has since stopped. I and many other friends who campaigned vigorously for you using social media and our home networks are usually faced with questions from other peers whom we campaigned to. I’m also no longer familiar with the activities of my legislator, who also happens to be a senior friend.

Consequently, I feel like putting up the following 11 questions to you trusting that you will make out time from your busy schedule to provide written response within this week. Some of the questions came from my close associates, those who like me believed in you and worked hard to sell your candidature to the electorates 3 years ago. In the event that we meet anytime soon, it may provide opportunity for more interaction”.

The 11 Questions I asked include:

1. You made the following promises before your election (details here ->, kindly state which one(s) you have fulfilled. Please give specific examples of what has been done in each case as may be required.
– To sponsor a bill to provide for federally- funded education programme for traders.
– To put the developmental problems of Old Ohaozara on the national front burner in order to attract adequate solutions
– To assiduously campaign against the high incidence of poverty in Old Ohaozara.
– To Work in concert with NGO’s, to introduce and support a policy of social mobilization, organization and enlightenment that empower groups and segments; especially women, economically and politically for greater social development.
– To nurture a virile youth population that is educated, skilled, enlightened and productively engaged for positive development.
– To seek out and partner with local and international agencies in the key areas of the MDGs for the benefit of the people.

2. After your election, you committed to doing the following;
– ICT Training for young people in the constituency and provision of funding support for skill utilization.
– Support rural women groups to form profitable microcredit societies.
– Provision of a web portal for constituents to upload CV (creation of database for the educated unemployed/under-employed youth)
Please state whether or not you have done them. Provide web links or references where applicable.

3. At different periods, you advertised some job positions and asked for CVs of interested constituents. How many of our constituents have you helped to secure jobs?

4. Did you provide scholarship, financial grant or official recommendations to students in our constituency? If yes, how many persons and at what level of education?

5. How many FG-funded development projects (different from usual constituency projects) have you attracted to our constituency? Please name the projects, locations and status of completion.

6. You carried out sensitization program on YouWin for our constituents in 2013, how many of the sensitized persons were provided with technical support during the application process? How many of them scaled through the first round already shortlisted.

7. You provided a Constituency House in Abuja within your 1st year in office. Is the apartment still available for the use of constituents? Till date, how many of our constituents have made use of the place?

8. There were pockets of violence, kidnappings/killings recorded in the constituency recently, specifically in Onicha and Okposi. What specific action(s) did your office take to help to restore peace and forestall future occurrence?

9. 18 months ago (November 2012), I and Humphrey Chidi Awo (two of your key supporters and campaigners in 2011) conducted a qualitative assessment of your performance, collated opinions and suggested way forward and shared with you. It is also published on my blog here -> . Did you find it useful? Did it in any way influence your actions as a representative of our people?

10. In a recent opinion poll conducted online and monitored by me, 55% of our constituents who responded feel that your representation is “Not at all effective”, 35% thinks it is “Slightly effective” while only 5% think you are “Very Effective”. What do you think about these findings? What steps do you plan to take to improve this rating?

11. In a scale of 1-10, 1 being lowest and 10 being highest, how would you rate your performance in the past 3 years in each of the following areas;
– Sponsorship of bills (law-making)
– Effective representation of our constituency
– Executive oversight

I’ve waited for more than 5 weeks to get answers to the above questions but yet to get any. It is a well known fact my friends and I (like so many other constituents) have supported Hon. Okorie covertly and overtly before, during and after his election. He has also supported me to achieve some of my goals and remains a senior friend. So many other constituents made individual sacrifices to ensure his success at the election and everyone hoped for a superlative and effective representation. However, the quality of representation I have observed so far fall below my expectations. I anticipate Hon. Okorie’s response to the questions because Ndi Ohaozara have the Right to Know. His responses will also help us see how we may support him to do better in the remaining months of his tenure. I also look forward to seeing and sharing very positive and exciting activities of my rep yet again. May God continue to bless the good people of Ohaozara Nation!