Against the advice of the Nigerian Police Force, DSS, interns from the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital, UCTH , have staged a protest to demand their unpaid 11 months salaries amounting to 480million naira from management. Republica Nigeria reports that the interns protested on major streets of Calabar from the hospital to Etta Agbor and Governor’s office peacefully, chanting solidarity songs and carrying placards with various inscriptions such as “pay UCTH interns now”, “ don’t harass us, “Pay us now”, “ 11 months without interns salary”, amongst others . In total, 352 interns were affected, while some of them took part in the protest.
During conversations with journalists, one of the protesters , Gideon Duba, revealed that the UCTH had been owing them for eleven months and when attempts are made to discuss with the management, it is adjourned with the claim that it is a national issue.
Gideon claimed that the UCTH has severely used the police to intimidate them, and that their salaries amount to about 480 million naira. He called on the federal government, EFCC, minister of health to help resolve the non-payment of Salaries.
In his words, “we keep on engaging the management, but they say we are disturbing, we have worked and asked for our salary but they say we are disturbing that we are causing security threats. A memo was released on the 2nd of August , placing us on a one month suspension, to allow for the resolving of the issue. Up until now, nothing has been done”
Another intern, Miss Nmuoeke Maurine, said, “The reason for our protest is because of our 11 months salaries (stipends) and over two months suspension that we don’t even know when it will be called off. Our demand is that they should pay us our complete stipends. We did not commit any crime asking for our money. Let them lift the suspension. We have worked for our money. I guess the money should be available because other medical institutions are being paid. Our demand is that they should pay us our complete salary. We did not commit any crime asking for our money, let them lift the suspension. We have worked for our money.” She said
In a statement made by the management earlier titled, ‘Planned disruption of peace and activities of the hospital by interns’ by the Director of Administration, Ededem Eyoma, raised the alarm about the protest.