The Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) has sworn in officials elected for a second time for its chapter in the Federal Capital Territory, ending months of uncertainty over the chapter’s leadership.
The swearing-in is the second since August, when the same executive officials were elected and sworn in to end in-fighting.
Dr Philips Ekpe, the newly elected president and other executives were first elected in August and again in a repeat election this September, and calls the outcome of the vote “the people’s mandate”.
“That shows you when the people insist, God makes sure it happens,” he said at the swearing in on Saturday in Abuja.
The repeat election of officials initially elected in August is an “example of democracy,” said Ekpe, a consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist and the medical director of Nyanya General Hospital.
“We have set an example: if you are put in office, know that it is the people that gave you that power, and you must respect them.
“You must listen to the people, make sure elections are free and fair. We should not force our choices down the throats of the people.”
Immediate past executives of the association remain suspended, including its former chairman and secretary-general over allegations of “abuse of office and high-handedness”.
Its former vice chairman, a main rival for the position of chairman this year pulled out of the race.
But Ekpe said the new executives will reach out to restore harmony among doctors in the FCT chapter.
The association is expected to raise issues on universal health coverage during its Physicians Week this October—and the new administration plans to make the practice of doctors in the FCT more patient centred.
“It is not about strikes. We want to take NMA to the point where our patients will fight for us. We will treat them so well they go out there for us,” said Ekpe.