On the 11th of July 2016, Babcock University Teaching Hospital Association of Resident Doctors (BUTHARD) hosted NMA Ogun state to the first of its kind Pre electoral debate/manifesto.
The elections will take place during the Annual General Meeting coming up in the first week of August, 2016.
This event was the brainchild of the outgoing president of BUTHARD, Dr. Oluwaseyi Adebola. The inspiration was simple. Rather than vote based on the perfunctory recommendations of senior colleagues who were for the most part, friends with the contestants, or vote by virtue of receiving a flier, why not let the candidates speak for themselves. In his opening remarks, he expressed his belief that a prestigious association such as NMA was a microcosm of the larger society and hoped that an event such as this will be reproduced in NMA chapters across the nation and the society at large.
He encouraged the candidates to remain civil throughout the entire electoral process and enshrined the audience to remember that outcomes of elections such as this had a bearing on their professional future whether they played an active or passive role in the process. The event was jointly supported by the executives of NMA Ogun state and MDCAN BUTH chapter.
The program kicked off by 3pm to ensure that clinical responsibilities were not neglected. It started with a drug presentation by the sponsors of the program, Novo Nordisk. Opening prayers were said by consultant ophthalmologist, Dr. Omodele Jagun. The Compere of the event, reputable dental consultant surgeon, Dr. Titus Oyedele then went on to anchor the program brilliantly. Each contestant were given 5 minutes to introduce themselves and state their intentions if allowed to occupy the offices they desired. The candidates for general secretary and chairman were allotted a bit more time. Beneath is a list of the candidates and posts being vied for:
Deputy General Secretary
Each candidate serenaded the audience as eloquently as they could with exploits achieved when entrusted with previous political responsibilities. This was greeted by the cheers of their supporters in the audience. It was then the turn of the listeners to be heard. Candidates were grilled on topics that ranged from their response in the face of intimidation by the government to plans to deal with quackery in the health sector to their plans on how they will build a more formidable association. Dr. Adewunmi Alayaki, a former chairman of NMA Ogun state and former Vice Chairman of the National body asked the candidates how they will still contribute their quotas to their contemporaries if they lost the election. To this many of the candidates reiterated their availability for service even in the face of loss. One of the candidates threw a gentle jibe as his colleague by saying, “I will definitely seek the advice of Dr…. when I win the election. We have always been good friends”. This elicited merry laughter in the crowd.
The host of the event, Dr. Adebola, asked the candidates for the chairmanship position their take on how the sectorial rivalry with JOHESU arose, their thoughts on why it arose, and their approach with dealing with the issue. All these were answered with new insights. When the issue of quackery came up again, one of the candidates for position of chairman spoke with candor that sanity will begin in our own house and we will have to speak defiantly to any colleague who was engaged in sharp practices and follow due process in dealing with it. He mentioned that once we are done cleaning our own backyard we will be able to tackle unlicensed quacks head on.
Other pertinent issues were raised that concerned NMA Ogun state, and this event was memorably one of the few times that association members got to bare their minds directly to their association office holders.
The closing remarks were taken by Dr. Sokeye of the Community medicine department of BUTH. She particularly thanked the contestants for honoring the invitation to appear at the event and thanked all who played some role or the other in ensuring its success.
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