Under the banner of the National Association of Nigeria Nurses and Midwives, the nurses voiced their concerns about challenging working conditions. They urged the hospital management to address issues such as promotion arrears, staff shortages, and other rights.
The protest, observed by PUNCH Healthwise, unfolded peacefully on the hospital premises with demonstrators carrying placards, singing and circulated around the premises to express their grievances.
Some of the placards displayed messages such as "Stop selective promotion," "Nurses' workload is enough for promotion," "Nurses' lives matter," "Give us our promotion," and "Healthy workplace, healing spaces, nurses demand both." Another read, "Improve nurses' working environment."
In a conversation with our correspondent, Olufimilola Adekunle, the Chairman of the National Association of Nigeria Nurses and Midwives (NANNM) at FMC Abeokuta chapter, explained that the protest aimed to demand the papers of the promotional examination, which the hospital claimed the nurses failed.
Adekunle explained the exhaustion and overwork experienced by many nurses due to the acute shortage of manpower in the hospital.
“We are tired, we are really tired. Before we used to do three shifts but because of the shortage, we have to collapse it to two shifts.
“We have written to the management several times for remuneration for this long hours work we are doing but no response.
“The only thing we enjoyed from this management is this promotion and now our members were not beneficiaries. They said we failed, we want to see the script,” she insisted.
Reacting to the protest, Head of Clinical Services of the hospital, Dr Kunle Adediran, told our correspondent that the issue regarding the promotion was beyond the management because the decision was taken by the Federal Ministry of Health.
He, however, promised that the hospital would write to the Federal Government to review some of the decisions and also address other issues raised by the nurses.