Raymond Ozoji, Awka
The Nigerian Medical Association is presently under fire as several of her members have at intervals in recent times challenged its policies and its mode of electing national officers.
It was gathered that so far, the NMA activities are not transparent and many medical practitioners are beginning to ask questions especially with the recent policy mandating members to pay N40, 000 as building levy.
One of NMA senior members, Dr Kenenna Obiatuegwu, alleged that a petitioner had won a case against NMA with over N200 million to be paid to him as damages, perhaps due to leadership failure.
Dr Obiatuegwu mentioned several loopholes in the constitution of the NMA, asking the leadership to call for an emergency national executive council (NEC) meeting and that the unsavoury aspects of the NMA constitution should be restructured.
Prominent among Obiatuegwu’s reservations over the constitution was that it only allowed the 37 state chairmen of the NMA to participate in the election of the national officers. That amounts to less than 0.05% of members.
He disclosed how this portion of the constitution contravened the Nigerian constitutional provision that allows every person above 18 years of age to vote and be voted for in the country.
In his words, “For the fact that I pay my annual dues, I deserve a chance to exercise my franchise in determining my national officers.
“It is like my governor saying because I elected him, he has the right to elect the Nigerian president for me.
“No, I elected my governor and my president as well.”
He said that he was being forced to seek legal redress on the matter adding that it was also an anomaly that the NMA constitution allows for the suspension of a member that seeks legal intervention in an issue he has with the organisation. This he said amounts to an attack on our fundamental human right and constitutional liberty.
“How can you suspend me because I sued for a redress on a matter I am not satisfied with? It is like President Buhari sacking me from Nigeria because I sued him,” Obiatuegwu said.