Two parallel executives Monday emerged to run the affairs of the Edo State chapter of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), following the crisis that has torn the association apart.
Just as the out-gone executive of the association led by Dr. Philip Ugbodaga last Saturday conducted election where Dr. James Kpolugbo reportedly emerged as chairman along with other members of the executive, another election of the association supervised by the national body held yesterday at the Central Hospital in Benin City, which produced another executive led by Dr. Emmanuel Ighodaro.
Commenting on the state of the association in the state yesterday, the national President of the NMA, Dr. Osahon Enabulele, said the Dr. Ighodaro-led exco was the authentic executive recognised by the national body, describing the Kpolugbo-led executive as “fraudulent.”
He said the election that was conducted by Dr. Ugbodaga was “a kangaroo election not attended by more than 30 medical doctors.”
In contrast, Enabulele said the election that produced Ighodaro as Edo State chairman yesterday was attended by over 100 medical doctors, including a former NMA President, Dr. Dominic Osaghae, Prof. Linus Ajabor and the Edo State Director, Medical Services, Dr. Mrs. Eboreime.
He explained that the out-gone executive of the Edo NMA was not qualified to conduct election to produce new set of executive as it had along with other NMA executives for Jigawa and Niger States been suspended from the national body for bridging the constitution of the association by overstaying their tenures.
The situation, he said, made the election conducted by the former executive in the state null and void.
However in his reaction, former Edo State NMA Chairman, Dr. Philip Ugbodaga said due process was followed in conducting the election that produced Kpolugbo, adding that those who took part in the election of yesterday also, took part in last Saturday election that produced Kpolugbo.
“What is happening now is people who lost, ran to national to save their faces. Having lost, they formed a parallel body.”
He said some of those who were disqualified from taking part in Saturday’s election were so disqualified because they did not meet up with the financial requirements of the association, even as he described yesterday’s election supervised by the national officers of the association as “a free for all and kangaroo election” where the rules of the constitution were not applied.
“Election should not be do or die if the intent is for service,” Ugbodaga said, adding that those who want to hold office should have waited for the expiration of the tenure of the KPolugbo-led executive to aspire to lead.