By Alex Enumah
The Nigeria Medical Association (NMA) at the weekend said it would prosecute the commissioners for health in both Kogi and Cross River States over alleged unethical conduct in the fight against the spread of COVID-19.
The association said before their formal trial in court, the two commissioners would first face a probe panel put in place by the Medical and Health Council of Nigeria for allegedly obstructing the activities of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) in their respective states.
National President of the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA), Professor Innocent Ujah, explained that the two commissioners had been reported by the NCDC to the Medical and Health Council for allegedly playing politics with human lives in the two states.
Ujah noted that some doctors have to be sanctioned and made to face trial in competent courts, adding that by their training, doctors are expected to be objective on issues affecting the well-being of humanity.
Ujah, a former Director-General of the Nigeria Institute of Medical Research, said the posture of the two commissioners to the national efforts to control and curtail the pandemic was not only worrisome but unethical.
Speaking at a lecture with the theme: Social Organisations, Human Rights and Covid-19 Pandemic, he delivered on the 22 Anniversary and Founders Day Celebration of the Peace Corps of Nigeria, Ujah noted that contrary to the erroneous impression created by the two commissioners, there are abundant medical evidence showing the prevalence of the disease in the two states.
He said the denial of the presence of COVID-19 in the two states was politically-motivated and unethical on the part of the two commissioners.
“The truth of the matter in this country today is that COVID-19 is real. It has come and it is throwing this nation into a big mess.
“It is a known fact today that the greatest challenge to humanity is the coronavirus. We do not need to wait until we begin to see dead bodies on our streets before we believe that the disease is with us.
“Regrettably, no age group is spared, the virus is just attacking anybody and we need to take adequate precautions to contain the virus because it may take a long time to get its vaccine”, he said.
He commended the federal government for opting out of this the year’s WAEC examination, adding that it will be a national tragedy to allow children to be infected by the disease.
Ujah also praised the Peace Corps of Nigeria for its active support to the federal government in the fight against COVID-19 and called on other youth-based organisations to emulate the corps.