August 11, 2020

VIOLENCE: NMA President apologises to Nigerians over conduct of Enugu doctors

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By Chioma Obinna

The President of the Nigerian Medical Association, NMA, Prof Innocent Ujah has apologised to Nigerians over the reported clashes of violence during the Enugu State branch of the NMA election that held last week.

Ujah, who spoke through a statement, said electoral violence in any form does not represent what the Nigerian doctor stands for.

It could be recalled that the election of the Enugu State branch of the NMA turned bloody on Thursday last week following the subsequent appointment of one of the Deputy Vice-Chairman Enugu East, Dr Kinsley Ugwuonye, as acting chairman by a faction of the state NMA which announced the suspension of the incumbent chairman, Dr. Ike Okwesili, for alleged gross misconduct and abuse of office two weeks ago.

Meanwhile, the National officers’ Committee, NOC, of NMA has set up a 3-man Fact-Finding Committee led by a past President of the Association, Professor Mike Ozovehe Ogirima, with Drs Agam Ayuk, (Immediate past Chairman of Cross River State NMA) and Chris Yilgwan (Past Chairman, Plateau State NMA) as members.

Condemning the violent clashes during the election, Ujah who further described it as a ‘show of shame’ said the development was at variance with their noble conducts and ideals.

Briefing journalists in Abuja, Ujah said the ugly and shameful behaviour of the Enugu doctors had embarrassed the entire body of the noble profession of medicine in Nigeria and the Association.

“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 the violence that resulted in bodily harm to many of our law-abiding members and therefore painting the revered profession and Association in a bad light.

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“It is 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.  The Enugu event on Thursday 6th August 2020 clearly portrayed a bad image of our noble profession.

“I wish, on behalf of the National Officers’ Committee of the Association to publicly apologise to Nigerians and other nationals who may have been disappointed at the behaviour of some disgruntled elements during the Enugu State NMA election.

“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.

He said the 3-man fact-finding committee set up by the NOC would investigate the immediate and remote causes that led to the disruption of the election, identify all those involved in the disruption of the election process and recommend actions to be taken.

He further urged all the state branches of NMA who are yet to conduct their elections to ensure that the values of NMA and inalienable rights of members are not eroded.