Abakaliki – Nurses under the aegis of University Graduates of Nursing Science Association (UGONSA), on Tuesday condemned Senate’s rejection of the nomination of Mr Ezekiel Yissa, as a non-executive commissioner of the Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC).
The Senate had earlier rejected Yissa’s nomination by President Muhammadu Buhari on the basis of his background as a nurse.
This is contained in a statement jointly signed by UGONSA’s National President, Chief Solomon Egwuenu, and National Secretary, Mr Goodluck Nshi.
A copy of the statement made available in Abakaliki read in part: “The attention of UGONSA has been drawn to the unacceptable and condemnable excuse given by the Senate for rejection of the nomination of Rt (Hon.) Nurse Ezekiel Yissa as a Non-Executive Commissioner of the NCC.
“The Senate had asserted that his background as a career Nursing Officer will not put him in good stead to be able to effectively cope with the dynamics of the communication sector if his nomination is confirmed.
“With all due respect we take strong exception to such assertion that was made not only in bad light but also craftily designed to denigrate the nursing profession and to portray Nurses as people that are below average in public service and administration.
“We find it laughable that the Senate went wide off the mark to denigrate the nursing profession, whose least category of qualifications the RN, takes a school cert holder not less than 36 months of excruciating academic rigours to obtain.”
The group alleged that it was obvious that the Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki, who was also a former Governor of Kwara State had a political score to settle with Yissa, who had since fallen out of favour with him in Kwara politics.
It recalled that Yissa was a former Speaker of Kwara State House of Assembly.
“While we are not interested in joining the fray over political issues between the duo, going below standard to drag the most patriotic profession, nursing, into the murky waters of their political row crossed the threshold of senatorial decency and is unacceptable to us, the members of the nursing profession.
“If Nurse Yissa, who meritoriously served this country and retired as a Deputy Director in the Civil Service and went further to serve as the Speaker of Kwara State House of Assembly and Chairman of Conference of Speakers should be rejected by Senate because he is a nurse.
“It portends that for all of us nurses – no matter how towering our qualifications, character, capacity or competence may be or how meritorious our service to our fatherland may be, we shall never be good enough to be confirmed by the Senate when nominated for public offices,” they noted.
The association described the Senate’s action as unpatriotic and an open-market insult to the nursing profession capable of damaging and destroying Nurses’ uncommon spirit of altruism and selfless sacrifices for national building and development.
“It is very unfortunate that having a nursing background, which is a strong advantage in other climes, is considered a strong disadvantage by our own Senators, and, alas, was the only reason that informed their failure to confirm the nomination of a patriotic Nigerian who has enviably distinguished himself in public administration and services.”
However, the body called on the Senate to retract what they described as “Demeaning label” on the nursing profession by effecting the confirmation of the nomination of Yissa without further delay.
“We urge all nurses to maintain decorum and continue to make usual altruistic sacrifices for the nation despite this unfortunate and unwarranted attack,” the group stressed.