Operatives of the Department of State Services, have dispersed medical doctors, who gathered at the Sheraton Hotels, Abuja, to take part in the recruitment interview organised by the Saudi Arabian Ministry of Health.
Earlier on Tuesday, Nigerian doctors had filled the Ladi Kwali Hall of the hotel to participate in the recruitment, while another exercise was scheduled for Thursday.
NewsWireNGR learned that the DSS operatives stormed the hotel on Thursday morning and dispersed everyone at the venue. A journalist with the International Centre for Investigative Reporting, Marcus Fatunde, was arrested while covering the exercise. He however, was eventually released.
The Vice-President, Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors, Adejo Arome, told journalists that the organisers of the interview confirmed to him that the exercise had been suspended.
“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.” He said.
Recall that Resident Doctors in Nigeria had gone on strike on August 1 over “irregular payment of salaries”, among other issues.
Efforts by the house of representatives to mediate between the federal government and NARD ended in a deadlock.