Fred Ezeh, Abuja
National President, Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), Prof. Innocent Ujah, has described the incident that happened in Enugu last week during the election of state executives of NMA as shameful act which has brought disgrace to the entire body of the noble profession of medicine in Nigeria.
He said that National leadership of NMA was disappointed at the unrestrained activities of thugs that not only disrupted the election but also caused violence that resulted in bodily harm to many of law abiding members, thereby, painting the “revered” profession and Association in bad light.
Prof. Ujah, at a press conference in Abuja, on Sunday, apologized to Nigerians and other nationales who might have been disappointed at the behaviour of some “disgruntled” elements during the Enugu State NMA election.
He said: “I wish to state that what happened during the disrupted NMA election in Enugu State does not represent nor reflect the behaviour and attitudes of the Nigerian Doctor. It’s an isolated case and unacceptable.
“It was a show of shame that ‘ordinary’ State NMA election would result in monumental destruction of properties and social dislocation of the society even at this time that we are at the forefront in the containment of COVID-19 pandemic in Nigeria.
“However, the report from over 20 States where elections have been conducted so far indicate otherwise. The Enugu event on Thursday 6th August, 2020, clearly portrayed a bad image of our noble profession.
“While we appreciate the passion and desire of members to be actively involved in its activities including, the electoral processes across the country, it’s instructive to note that as the foremost professional body, we will not tolerate any act of violence and ugly behaviours in whatever form, and therefore, what happened in Enugu is totally condemned in its entirety.”
The NMA President announced that a 3-man fact-finding committee led by a former NMA President, Prof. Mike Ogirima, has been constituted in response to the development in Enugu.
He added: “Other members are Dr. Agam Ayuk, (Immediate past Chairman of Cross River State NMA), and Dr. Chris Yilgwan (Past Chairman, Plateau State NMA). Their terms of reference have been communicated to them with two weeks period to submit its report.
“They are expected to investigate the immediate and remote causes of the disruption of the election, identify those involved in the disruption of the election process that culminated in the disgraceful act that brought the profession into disrepute, and recommend actions to be taken, that will avert future occurrences.”
He urged all the state branches of NMA that are yet to conduct elections to ensure that values and inalienable rights of members are not eroded in the exercise in order to enjoy the support and cooperation of the people.