As part of Inspiration FM’s fitness walks, the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) Akwa Ibom State Branch led doctors in Akwa Ibom to participate in a Walk Against Election Violence.
The walk, which was organized by Inspiration FM, is the 7th in a series of quarterly fitness walks organized by the popular radio station. Apart from the NMA, other partners who participated in the walk included the Youth Alive Foundation, the Catholic Archdiocese of Uyo, Civil Societies and Student Organizations from the state. The walk attracted over 4,000 persons from different walks of life and had in attendance five gubernatorial candidates including Mr Nya-Etok of the Young Democratic Party.
Leading over 100 doctors across the state to participate in the walk, the Chairman of the Nigerian Medical Association in the State, Dr Nsikak Paul Nyoyoko, called on politicians across the different political parties to promote peaceful elections and eschew violence.
Speaking in an interview with newsmen, Dr Nyoyoko, who is a consultant gynaecologist at the University of Uyo Teaching Hospital, thanked inspiration FM for organizing the walk for peaceful elections and for bringing the Catholic Archbishop of Uyo Archdiocese to preach peace to the political parties. He opined that apart from the health benefits of the walk, the walk also provided an opportunity to relay messages of peace to the public. He emphasized that election violence can lead to trauma, disability and death. Elaborating further, he thanked the state government for the massive reconstruction of the general hospitals in the state and the revival of the only quaternary hospital in the state, Ibom Multispecialty Hospital, Uyo.
He noted that in the face of widespread election violence, great strain could be placed on these facilities and the healthcare system as a whole, which might result in loss of lives.
Most casualties of election violence, Nyokoyo said, are usually fatal or at least debilitating resulting in untold hardship on the family of affected individuals.
On what he intends to achieve by leading doctors to join the Inspiration FM walk against election violence, Dr Nyoyoko said “the NMA intends to use the walk to advocate for Peace before, during and after the elections. During the walk we educated the general public particularly our political gladiators on the fragility of health and the need to safeguard our health and lives.”
The NMA Akwa Ibom State Chairman also called for fairness and professionalism among security agents involved in the electoral process. He also stated the need for transparency and fairness on the part of INEC officials in the conduct of the entire electoral process.
The walk also served as the doctors’ fitness exercise of NMA Akwa Ibom State for the month of February.
Also speaking, the Secretary of the Association, Dr Ema Inyang, appealed to politicians, especially the two leading parties in the state, to preach peace to their supporters.