The National Association of Nigerian Nurses & Midwives [NANNM], on 27th April, in an official statement, announced their withdrawal from JOHESU [Joint Health Care Workers Union].
The struggle of NANNM leaving JOHESU isn’t a new one.
Many agitations, protests and mini-wars have been fought within the community of nurses and midwives pushing for NANNM to stand alone, just like its sister body, The Nigeria Medical Association [NMA].
About two years ago, I wrote an article addressing the decision NANNM was making to separate from JOHESU and in that article, I supported NANNM’s decision.
Please read it here [we have slightly edited it].
Now that NANNM has finally taken the bold step to leave the confines of JOHESU’s cage, all I can see is the beautiful future waiting for the nursing profession in Nigeria.
It’s going to take a lot of work.
There will be some turbulence, and there may be a few detractors in our camp, but notwithstanding, if we stand united, no degree of distraction or sponsored attack on us will ever be able to deter us from building the nursing of our dream.
The nursing profession in Nigeria has come to that point in its lifecycle where it has to pull its weight.
The next generation of nurse leaders is warming up for the stage, and the present crop of leaders is expected to leave an admirable legacy behind, one we will be proud to build on.
And I firmly believe that our leaders’ decision to divorce JOHESU is part of the struggle to give Nigeria’s next generation of nurse leaders a solid foundation to keep building.
Maybe, just maybe, other healthcare professionals within JOHESU may now begin to think of also leaving. Well, if they ever do so, that will, unfortunately, bring JOHESU to its end.
Will it be good for the Nigerian healthcare ecosystem?
I really can’t say.
What I am deeply interested in is seeing a healthcare system that works.
Yes, it goes beyond unionism and politics, but we have to start from somewhere and do what we can.