Medical and Health Workers’ Union of Nigeria expressed heartfelt regards to the Health Services Wokers’ Union of the Ghana Trades Union Congress at its 11th National Delegates Conference and commemoration of its golden anniversary which took place on June 27-30, 2016 at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Technology (KNUT).
This was with a solidarity message of the MHWUN National President, Comrade Biobelemoye Josiah, presented by the high-powered delegation to the Conference, led by Comrade Ali Abana (National Vice President, North West). Other members of the delegation included: Comrade Femi Adebisi (National Vice President, South West) and Comrade Sylvia Dagu (National Vice President/Chairperson, National Women Commission).
The solidarity message is as posted below:
SOLIDARITY MESSAGE ON THE OCCASSION OF THE HSWU OF TUC GHANA’S NATIONAL DELEGATES’ CONFERENCE AND 50TH ANNIVERSARY
I extend fraternal regards to you, our brothers and sisters of the Health Services’ Workers’ Union of TUC Ghana, on behalf of the National Executive Council and indeed the entire membership of the Medical and Health Workers’ Union of Nigeria, on this historic occasion of your National Delegates Conference and golden jubilee. I deeply regret the fact that I cannot be physically present with you today, as much as I would have wished to. The Joint Health Sector Unions (JOHESU) in Nigeria which comprises MHWUN and six other unions is currently on strike. The Federal Government as called for negotiations which I will be leading as the JOHESU Chair for this same period. This is why I am unavoidably absent. The Secretary General who would then have otherwise also be with you lost his father on Friday last week. The burial was fixed by the family for today. This is why at the last minute the tickets for both of us had to be cancelled. The importance we attach to our relationship can however be seen from the high powered delegation of 3 National Vice-Presidents that would be with you, and that we would have been with.
This relationship goes over 30 years back to the mid-1980s. Our two unions are indeed the closest of allies within the trade union movement on the African continent. Even when international affiliation was barred during the military dictatorship in Nigeria, the embers of our friendship never died out. It is to the eternal glory of this relationship that HSWU which then hosted the office of the PSI Vice-President for the PSI Africa and Arab Countries Region became the gateway through which MHWUN passed to bring back the Nigerian family of affiliates into the PSI fold, in 2001.
Your great union and ours have also together borne the tasks of establishing and building the pioneering and leading sectoral network on the continent; the West African Health Sector Unions’ Network (WAHSUN). Today, WAHSUN occupies a pride of place not only in Africa but indeed globally as a reference point. This would not have been possible without the robust solidarity and collaboration between MHWUN and HSWU.
We thus look forward to the consolidation of our relationship in the coming period, to the benefit of the members of our unions and health workers across Africa and the whole world in general.
At this point, I must say that one of my greatest regrets at not being physically present with you today is that I can not hug two great men and personally tell them just what they mean to us. Brother Richard Yeboah, your distinguished National Chairman and Brother Abu Kuntulo, your indefatigable General Secretary are both rare breeds. Your union, WAHSUN and the trade union movement as a whole have been blessed to have had them at the helm of affairs in HSWU over the last period. We will definitely miss their wisdom and sense of tenacity. We are very happy that as the Chair of WAHSUN, we shall still have Brother Yeboah fully in our folds. We also use this opportunity to tell Brother Kuntulo that he should not in anyway see stepping aside after meritorious service from the HSWU as retirement from the trade union movement. We will definitely be calling upon him from time to time, to benefit from his wealth of experience and pureness of heart.
Finally, I salute you all as delegates at this historic moment in the life of HSWU. Half a century is definitely not a joke. You are indeed privileged to be part of this epochal hour in the annals of your great union’s history. I call on you all to see such privilege as coming with responsibility. Responsibility to build on the great legacy of your union thus far and take it to greater heights with policies, programmes and perspectives that would benefit members and the development of public healthcare delivery in Ghana. From the bottom of my heart, I wish you fruitful deliberation as you rise up to the challenge of this duty.
Long live HSWU of the TUC Ghana!
Long live MHWUN!!
Long live PSI!!