By Olatunde Odimayo.
The Nigeria Medical Association, NMA has dissociated its self from a secret publication claiming that the association received a bribe of N5.5million from the Kogi State Government leading to the suspension of the immediate past Chairman, Dr. Magnus Ogaraku.
In a statement signed by its acting Chairman, Dr. Tijani Godwin and Secretary Dr. Zubair, the association described the publication as malicious urging the general public to throw it to the waste bin.
According to the statement, “the general public and all doctors in Kogi State are hereby informed that the NMA exco did not invite or give ‘secretsreporters’or any other media house the right to publicize its activities/publication. The communique that was issued after the last emergency Congress meeting (ECM) of the association was strictly meant for our members and our partners who need to know and this has been the usual practice since the inception of this exco year.
The action of the State Officers Committee (SOC) was done to safe guard the interest of the association and not to tarnish the image of any individual or group whatsoever and we have strictly followed the lay down constitutional provisions to arrive at our decision”.
The statement further explained that, the embattled Chairman was found wanting as a result of which he was suspended and referred to face the State Disciplinary Committee (SDC) which is the usual practice of the association in order for him to get a fair hearing.
“The SDC which is a standing committee is made up of highly respected elders of the profession with over ten years experience and very high integrity. These Honourable men cannot be bribed with any amount of money and the claim that they have taken bribe is not true except in the imagination of the mischief makers.”
“The suspended chairman has long built his family house before vying for the chairmanship position of the association and we have no information about his asset anywhere else. The Chairman never collected and shared N5.5 million as claimed by the mischievous author.
Dr. Kasim Oluwamayowa, Dr. Ododo Bernard and Dr. iduh Joseph are highly respected members of the association who has struggled to build the image of the association for many years and are men of impeccable character. They were never in the true picture of what transpired between the NMA Kogi State exco and the Kogi State Government and any member who is trying to drag their names in the mud is only doing so at his or her own detriment”. The statement added.
NMA however stated that the present administration led by Alhaji Yahaya Bello has worked closely with the association to resolve the ongoing industrial action in the health sector adding that Kogi State government never attempted to bribe the association but tried to ease the pain of members of the association who are going through difficult times.
Vowing to investigate and bring to book whoever is responsible for the said publication, the association also said they will seek legal redress with the publisher of the secretsreporters, adding that, the action of NMA Kogi State was not done for religious, ethnic or political reasons neither was it done to favour any faction or group, but strictly to protect the interest of the association which they believe is bigger than any individual.