Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), has denied accusations by the President of National Association Of Resident Doctors (NARD) that it sidelined the latter. A statement by the association signed by Dr Aniekeme Uwah JP the National Publicity Secretary, NMA reads thus, “On Friday,10th of September 2021, a delegation of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) was received at the state house,Abuja by the President and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari GCFR.
“The delegation of the Association was led by the President, Prof (Dr) Innocent A O Ujah FNMA. Other members of the association in the delegation included members of the National Officers Committee (NOC), Past Presidents, Chairman of a statutory Committee and some members of the National Executive Committee (NEC), largely representing the female gender.
“The visit to the State House was the first by the present National Officers Committee (NOC) since her election on the 30th of May, 2020.”
The statement revealed that the visit, which was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic that ravaged humanity, was in accordance with the tradition of newly elected officers.
“The visit, which was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic that ravaged humanity, especially in 2020, was in line with the tradition of newly elected Officers of the association to pay a courtesy call on the President of the country after their election.
“During such visits, the newly elected officers are introduced to the number 1 citizen, gifts given ( if any), speeches made and general challenges militating against health care delivery in the country brought to the front burner and solutions proffered.
“The composition of the delegation of such visits, which are usually exclusively in the purview of the National Officers Committee could also be extended to include other members of the association depending on the number approved by state house protocol officials.
“In this particular instance, the number was restricted to only 15 members to allow for social distancing in line with the COVID-19 pandemic control protocols, unlike in the past when the numbers were far larger.
“Therefore, the allegation by the President of (ÑARD), one of the 8 affiliates of the association, that he was sidelined is incorrect and mischievous, therefore should be taken with a pinch of salt,” the statement added
The statement further noted that the NAARD president was the one consistently refusing to carry the partner body along in decision making.
“Rather, if such insinuations should be made, it should be the other way round as the President of the said affiliate has consistently refused to carry the parent body along in her critical decision making processes.
“For the benefit of doubt, all members of 8 of the affiliates are members of the Nigerian Medical Association. And as a leadership, we will continue to work for the enhancement of the welfare of all our members, in addition to sustaining robust advocacy and engagements with relevant stakeholders in order to promote the right policies and legislations that will create a more enabling environment for effective health care delivery for the benefit of all Nigerians.
“For clarity, there is no provision in NMA constitution that spells out who should be in the NMA President’s delegation on courtesy visits. Whoever is on a delegation is purely at the discretion of the President.
“Once again, we call on the relevant MDAs of government to expedite action towards ensuring that the demands of all our members as encapsulated in the MoU signed on 20th August 2021 are implemented without any further delay in line with the directive of President Muhammadu Buhari GCFR so that our members who currently on strike can return to work.