Operatives of the Department of State Services, on Thursday, August 26, dispersed medical doctors, who stormed the Sheraton Hotels, Abuja, to take part in the ongoing recruitment exercise organized by the Saudi Arabian Ministry of Health here in Nigeria.
Saudi Arabian authorities are in Nigeria to interview some Nigerian doctors who are willing to work in their country for better pay and working conditions.
Punch reports that that medical consultants in their hundreds had gathered at the Ladi Kwali Hall of the hotel to participate in the recruitment exercise, however, it didn’t go down well as DSS operatives allegedly stormed the hotel to disperse the attendees as well as journalists who had come to cover the exercise.
An eyewitness told the publication;
“When I came here, we saw the DSS operatives dispersing the people that came for the interview and before we knew it, everywhere had been scattered.
A journalist with the ICIR, Marcus Fatunde, was also arrested, but he has been released.”
A doctor, who spoke on condition of anonymity said
“Some of us, who came here today, came because we don’t even have jobs and we don’t want to do the wrong things. Two categories of people were here today: the jobless ones and the ones who are poorly remunerated.
We didn’t commit any crime; we just wanted a better system. So, why is the government trying to frustrate us?
Confirming the incident, the Vice-President, Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors, Adejo Arome, said
“Well, some people got to the venue today (Thursday) and when they didn’t meet anyone, they called me and I confirmed from the recruiters and some other doctors that the recruitment has been suspended.
The recruitment on Tuesday garnered coverage, because of the media publicity. It was everywhere that doctors were going to Saudi Arabia.
The recruiters had to suspend it because the Federal Government said it felt embarrassed by the news.
It is a big shame. The government has no right to infringe on the right of the citizens to choose to go to another country. If the system is not working, let them go to another country.”
The DSS is yet to confirm or deny the claim its officers stopped the recruitment exercise.