From Noah Ocheni, Lokoja
The chairman of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, (NUJ), Kogi state council, Alhaji Adeiza Momoh Jomoh on Tuesday directed all journalists in the state to boycott all the activities of the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA), kogi state chapter until further notice, to avoid being dragged into unnecessary confrontations with the government .
In a statement signed by the Chairman of the Union, Alhaji Adeiza Momohjimoh and the Secretary, Ademu Seidu, the Union expressed disappointed that an Association of the status of NMA could deny statement issued and signed by the body out rightly.
The union also called on the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA) Kogi state chapter to toe the part of honour by taking responsibility for it’s actions, instead of trying to shift blames because of their inconsistency.
The NUJ chairman said “Our attention has been drawn to a refutal by NMA on its statement on the non testing by the Kogi state government to ascertain the level of COVID-19 in the state.”
For the avoidance of doubt, the NMA, in it’s statement said “Because of this high level of suspicions, doctors prefers to rule out COVID-19 in patients they considered as high risk before proceeding to manage them for their clinical conditions.”
The NMA statement further reads, “The inability of the state to test or follow laid down protocols in order to exclude COVID-19 may lead to needless death of patients presenting with other clinical conditions due to neglect by HCWs. It should be noted, that if doctors should attend to one unknown case of COVID-19 in the hospital settings, it may spread to many HCWs and their families.”
According to Kogi State council of NUJ, it would have been better and more honourable for the Association (NMA) to simply apologize to the government, when it finds out that the statement was not correct, instead of putting journalists who are simply doing their jobs at the receiving end.
The Union commended the state government for being proactive in it’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic in the state, which has made Kogi one of the states yet to record any single case.
They called on the the government to extend support to Kogi journalists who have been in the forefront of the fight against this dreaded disease.