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Enugu NMA groups disagree over alleged suspension of chairman

Nigerian Medical Association

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

Nigerian Medical Association

Some members of the association, who 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.

Consequently, the group also purportedly 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.

Okwesili’s suspension 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They alleged that Okwesili had unilaterally withdrawn the rights and privileges of some members of the association without recourse to due process.The Guardian learnt that the crisis followed insistence of some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.

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

The medical items 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.

In a statement during the distribution of the items to representatives of tertiary institutions at the Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital (NAUTH) Nnewi, President of the group, Ejikeme O. Obasi, said 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.

Speaking, 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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