Enugu NMA groups disagree over alleged suspension of chairman

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The Enugu State chapter of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), yesterday, has denied that there is no any form of crisis in the union, describing the claimed suspension of its Chairman, Dr. Ike Okwesili by some members as false and mischievous.

Information gathered from a reliable source brought the notification that some members of the association held a virtual Emergency General Meeting (EGM) on Friday, July 24, 2020, had claimed that they suspended Okwesili for alleged gross misconduct and abuse of office.

The group immediately appointed Dr. Onyekachi Ugwuonye, a vice chairmen of NMA as Acting Chairman pending the determination of the alleged breaches by Okwesili, which it referred to the Ethics and Disciplinary Committee.

The suspension of Okwesili was reportedly issued in Enugu and endorsed by Ugwuonye and Dr. Okam Izuchukwu, claiming that the meeting was in line with the Enugu NMA’s by-laws.

They declared that the rights and privileges of some members of the association were unilaterally withdrawn by Okwesili without recourse to due process. It was learnt that the crisis followed insistence of some members drawn from Resident Doctors of the Enugu State University of Science and Technology (ARD-ESUTH) to participate in the election scheduled for August, after they collected, but failed to remit their check off dues to the NMA.

However, the consultants were remitting their check off dues following which Okwesili insisted on following the constitution, adding that failure to adhere to due process automatically disqualified any member from participating in the election and withdrawal of other rights and privileges.

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In a memo marked NMA/ENUGU/240720/662 and signed by Okwesili and Secretary of Enugu State NMA, Dr. Emmanuel O. Aneke, it described Okwesili’s purported suspension as malicious and the virtual meeting improper.

Meanwhile, medical materials were donated by a group of Igbo indigenes resident in the United States under the aegis of the 100 Igbo USA Incorporated to tertiary institutions in the South East region to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

The medical items found include 1000 pieces of protective gowns, 72 boxes of M95 masks, 1000 pieces of RM95 masks, 1000 pieces of protective goggles, 11,000 pieces of gloves, 50 pieces of infrared thermometers and five cartoons of shoe covers, among others.

During the distribution of the items, a statement was made to representatives of tertiary institutions at the Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital (NAUTH) Nnewi, by the President of the group, Ejikeme O. Obasi, who said that the materials, which were channeled through Professor Stanley Anyanwu of the Institute of Oncology at NAUTH, were to assist Ndigbo to contain the spread of coronavirus.

According to Professor Anyanwu, who commended the donors for their gecture, said the country was in distress due to lack of adequate medical equipment and drugs to effectively contain the spread of the pandemic and urged the institutions to ensure that they use the $200, 000 worth of medical items judiciously. Chief Medical Director (CMD) of NAUTH, Prof Anthony Igwebe, commended the group for assisting Ndigbo, stressing that the equipment would help to protect health workers from contracting the virus.

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