The Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), Lagos State Chapter has declared Dr Omojowolo Olubunmi, Consultant Neurologist and his team of elected officials as the legitimate winners of the 2016 NMA Lagos elections.
Dr Tope Ojo, the immediate past chairman of Lagos NMA, made this clear to newsmen during the swearing in of the team at LUTH.
It would be recalled that two factions of NMA Lagos, on Thursday 27th July, 2016 conducted elections at different locations.
The two elections which held at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) and the Nigerian Institute of Medical Research (NIMR), produced Dr Omojowolo Olubunmi and Dr Olumyiwa Odusote as the elected NMA Lagos chairman respectively. Dr Omojowolo Olubunmi and his team of elected officials were sworn in on Saturday at LUTH, with the immediate past chairman, Dr. Ojo, duly handing over to the new leaderdship.
According to Dr. Ojo, Dr. Omojowolo-led faction is the only legitimate leadership recognized by the association.
Speaking to pressmen, Odusote, the winner of the Saheed-led election said that his election was in accordance with the constitution of NMA and followed a clear directive from the national body that the Annual General Meeting/ Elections of the NMA Lagos branch was to be held on a neutral ground other than LUTH, LASUTH and College of Medicine.
He also described the election conducted at LUTH as shrouded with irregularities as the results were highly faulted.
Reacting swiftly to the claims, Dr Tope Ojo, the immediate past chairman of Lagos NMA, denied any rift in the state chapter stating that “NMA in Lagos is not divided; it is intact.”
He however declared the election at LUTH as the only recognised election; “the election had over 700 people in attendance with the crème de la crème of the profession like Prof. Durosimi Eti, the Chief Medical Director of LUTH- Prof. Chris Bode, the provost of College of Medicine UNILAG, Prof. Folasade Ogunsola and many others present to elect candidates of their choice and somebody is coming out to counter it.”
On the directive by the national body regarding the venue of the election, Ojo said: “That directive is null and void and of no effect whatsoever. The national president does not have any right to interfere with the activities of the chapter. besides, what is written in the directive is “advice”, and we didn’t take that advice because there is no crisis.”
Meanwhile, the former President of the association, Dr. George Okpagu, disclosed that he wasn’t aware of any directive by the national body.
He added that the Omojowolo-led faction carried out their election according to the constitution, rules and regulations of NMA, and called on all doctors to come together for the betterment of the association and most especially, the patients.
“When two elephants fight, the grass suffers. Any fight in the NMA, any factionalisation of the association is to the detriment of the patients, and that must stop. If there is any crisis in the association, we ought to have resolved it as a family. I am not happy that this came up now because assuming I had gotten a letter or email from the National body, I would have called these people and told them to move the election to a neutral place because the national body doesn’t want it here”, he said.