A coalition of youth organisations and some Nigerian students, on Thursday, made good their threat and staged a peaceful protest at the Maitama, Abuja Office of Nigeria Governors’ Forum, over the poor state of the primary healthcare system in the country.
The protesters carrying placards of various inscriptions called on the Nigerian Governors’ Forum to commence immediate implementation of the massive establishment and equipping of Primary Healthcare Centres across the country.
Leader of the coalition and President of Nigerian Youth Union (NYU), Comrade Chinonso Obasi, during the protest, presented the demands of the Nigerian youths encapsulated in a letter to the Chairman of NGF, Dr Kayode Fayemi, Executive Governor of Ekiti State.
The letter dated February 25th, 2021, was received and signed by the Head of the Secretariat of the Forum, though no one came out of the building to address the protesters.
NYU President, Obasi, however, warned that if after two weeks no positive response or action is taken on the demands, Nigerian youths and students would be mobilized for civil disobedience.
He said the protest followed the expiration on 10th February, a 14-day ultimatum handed down by the coalition on January 28th, 2021.
He bemoaned the daily loss of lives in Nigeria as a result of a poorly functional healthcare system to offer medical care to citizens especially in rural communities vulnerable to diseases with attendant high maternal and infant mortality rates.
Some of the placards wielded by the protesters read: “End Corruption in Our Healthcare” and “make our healthcare system work,” among others.
The coalition urged NGF and the Association of Local Governments of Nigeria (ALGON), to take urgent steps to revamp the “failed primary healthcare centres across the country leading to the avoidable death of Nigerians,” arguing that access to quality and affordable healthcare service is a human right.
Part of the letter submitted to NGF read: “The Governors have never been comfortable with the private-public partnership to provide basic healthcare at the local/community level and have presently constituted stumbling block to the process with hitherto had taken off.
“The result of this anti-masses stand is the decadent state of rural health infrastructure which we now see.
“The Nigerian youths, students, and civil society groups will continue resisting the anti-people stand of stampeding access to healthcare at the local level.
“The Nigerian Youth Union (NYU) shall mobilize other youth and student organisations for a civil disobedience in the country if her demands are not appropriately addressed, which shall no doubt have an enormous effect on daily activities in the country.”
Poor primary healthcare: Youths protest in Abuja, warn of civil disobedience