Sequel to my enterprise on the above subject matter last week, it behoves on me and very pertinent too that, I shed more light on my periscope on the debacle that has manifested in the professional umbrella body of Doctors, the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), Kogi State.
I felt there was a strong need that I make available, by way of substantiation, incontrovertible pieces of evidence and in glaring facts and figures. That is,
in order not to look like I skewly joined the narratives in the prevailing unpleasantness that has bedeviled the body in recent times.
As it’s the case with umbrella bodies of most walks of life, rules and tenets, norms and regulations are usually passed down to members through their professional umbrella organizations. They have very clearly structured internal administrative mechanisms that are saddled with the responsibility of piloting their collective interests and affairs. Members are elected into the internal administrative offices for a fixed period of time or tenure.
These professional umbrella bodies serve as both the face and the advocacy channels for their members, hence, the need to ensure that a robust and absolute leadership template and paradigm exists.
The above preamble is necessary to get every reader in the right spirit to deal on this matter with open mind.
This very article is the continuation of my statement last week on the shabby, unwholesome, and unwelcome actions of the person of Dr Olusola Baoku, the de facto “elected” Chairman of Kogi State chapter, NMA.
In my statement, I made known my disappointment as well as those of the public, on why Dr Baoku was allowed to successfully “pass through” NMA’s internal leadership screening and accenssion paradigm, a paradigm that places unwavering emphasis on a blemish- free and sterling characteristics of every intending contestant without which, no one would be cleared to contest in the NMA State election.
Now, I and many watchers became disappointed with NMA Kogi State when Dr Olusola Baoku and his possible ilk, were not red-flagged this time around as was the case last time by the internal mechanisms or the screening and vetting committee of NMA rather, Dr Baoku was “cleared” to contest for same NMA state Chairmanship election with all things being equal against him or as they were.
And for what it’s worth, Baoku’s several misdemeanor towards constituted NMA rules and laws, and his consequent indictment which stonewalled and precluded him by same screening and vetting committee of NMA in the penultimate Chairmanship election is still in place officially.
The question on the lips of many is: has the Kogi State NMA chapter watered down and reneged on it’s own rules and constitutional provisions?
In the Bye Laws of NMA Kogi State:
The following are expressly and clearly spelt out..
In article 5 of the bye laws it says, the Screening/Vetting committee shall among other things, screen the aspirants based on NMA constitution and the State bye laws, and publish the list and their proposal 72 hours before the AGM/election.
In article 6 of the bye laws it says, the election committee shall conduct the election immediately after the AGM and dissolution of the SOC by the outgoing Chairman.
In article 9 of the bye laws,
subsection (1) says, to contest for any electoral post, candidates must be a financial member and prescribed dues/levies/paid up to date.
Subsection (2) says, candidates for chairman and secretary must have been regular financial members in the State for the last two years.
Subsection (3) says, candidates must be duly proposed and seconded by financial members.
Subsection (6) says, candidates vying for the position of the chairman and the secretary must have attended at least three (3) general meetings (including one 1 AGM), while all other candidates must have attended at least two 2 of the NMA Kogi State general meetings (AGM, OGM, EGM) during the tenure preceding the election.
So, the above laws are clear, unbendable and sacrosanct. Failure in any of the above provisions of the NMA laws, automatically invalidates an aspirant for an election to any of the stated positions.
I have at my disposal, records of payments of NMA dues/levies of the Association of Resident Doctors (ARD), from the Federal Medical Center (FMC) Lokoja for the months of April and May respectively, and Dr Olusola Baoku’s name isn’t found in any of these lists. That his name did not appear in the dues/levies payments printouts for loyal and law abiding ARD Doctors, underscored the fact that he side stepped, prevaricated, evaded and ultimately refused to pay for those months, while others paid.
His actions were in clear breach of the relevant articles, sections and subsections of the NMA constitution and bye laws as copiously cited above, making him unqualified for any electoral calling in NMA Lokoja.
Below are the annexures of the payments printouts in question for all to see and to appreciate the situation much better.
In addition to the evidence provided above, Dr Olusola Baoku was alleged to have taken several policemen to the venue of the penultimate and substantive NMA elections, with a view to disrupting and stopping the agreeable process because, he allegedly vowed that ‘if it is not him, then it cannot be anyone.’
Unfortunately for him, there were DSS operatives already on ground to guard the venue to ensure a peaceful atmosphere at the time Baoku’s policemen arrived, and to that extent, the policemen couldn’t do anything to stop the smoothly prevailing process, therefore, the sinister plan by Dr Olusola Baoku was thwarted.
With all of the above accounts, I find it extremely impossible to comprehend how such an unqualified aspirant and with as much blemish and taintedness as Doctor Olusola Baoku, would have his name heard anywhere around the office of NMA Chairman, an office that is an exclusive preserve for those who stand on moral, loyal and ethical high grounds.
Personally, as a friend of doctors, I tried to reach some stakeholders of the profession to hear from them on the sordid issue, but they all expressed how much in shock that they were in over the ignominious situation, as well as how the NMA Kogi State has become an aberration. They however, made me understand that efforts are being put in place to transmogrify the situation.
As for me, i will say NMA Kogi has entered one chance!