BEING PRESS BRIEFING BY THE NIGERIAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION (NMA) ON THE DISRUPTED ENUGU STATE NMA ELECTION
GENTLE MEN OF THE PRESS
(1) I welcome you to today’s Press briefing which is in response to the very ugly and shameful behaviour of our colleagues during the Enugu State NMA election which has brought public opprobrium to the entire body of the noble profession of medicine in Nigeria and our Association, the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA)
(2) The national leadership of our Association is very distressed over the trending news on the print, electronic and social media of the unrestrained activities of thugs that not only disrupted the election but also caused violence that resulted in bodily harm to many of our law abiding members and therefore painting the revered profession and Association in bad light.
(3) I wish to state from the onset that what happened in during the disrupted NMA election in Enugu State does not represent nor reflect the behaviour and attitudes of the Nigerian Doctor. It is a show of shame that an 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. The Enugu event on Thursday 6th August 2020 clearly portrayed a bad image of our noble profession.
(4) I wish, on behalf of the National Officers’ Committee of the Association to publicly apologize to the Nigerians and other nationales who may have been disappointed at the behaviour of some disgruntled elements during the Enugu State NMA election.
(5) While the Association appreciates the passion of members and the desire to be actively involved in its activities including, the electoral processes across the country, it is 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.
(6) Electoral violence in any form does not represent what the Nigerian Doctor stands for and it is therefore, at variance with our noble conducts and ideals.
(7) Accordingly, arising from National officers’ Committee (NOC) meeting, a 3-man Fact-Finding Committee led by a past President of the Association, Professor Mike Ozovehe Ogirima, mni with Drs Agam Ayuk, (Immediate past Chairman of Cross River State NMA) and Chris Yilgwan ( Past Chairman, Plateau State NMA) as members. Their terms of Reference include
(a) To investigate the immediate and remote causes that led to the disruption of the 2020 Enugu State NMA election,
(b) To identify all those involved in the disruption of the election process that culminated in the disgraceful act that brought the profession into disrepute
(c) To recommend actions to be taken that will avert future occurrences in Enugu State. The committee has 2 weeks to submit its report.
(8) As members of the noble profession, the leadership of the Association cannot afford to stand by and watch such ugly behaviour, unbecoming of disgruntled members of our Association. Using the relevant provisions of the Association’s constitution, we shall ensure that discipline is restored not only in Enugu State NMA but also in all the branches of our Association, so that our members will continue to exhibit the highest level of decorum expected of the Medical practitioners in all our affairs, including, elections.
(9) What happened in Enugu during the NMA election, I must say that even though, an isolated case, is totally unacceptable. However, the report coming to me from over 20 States where elections have been conducted so far, indicate that they have been extremely peaceful. That is what is expected of the Medical Doctor and I commend them.
(10) In conclusion, we urge all the state branches of NMA who are yet to conduct their elections to ensure that these values and inalienable rights of members are not eroded.
(11) Finally, I wish to again apologize to the Nigerian public for the unacceptable behaviour of some of our members during the aborted Enugu State NMA Election.
I thank you
Professor Innocent AO Ujah, FNMA, mni
NIGERIAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION (NMA)
9th August 2020
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