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Covid19: A'Ibom Doctors Bicker Over Loquacious Spokesman

All is not well in Akwa Ibom State among doctors as some members of the Nigeria Medical Association, NMA in Akwa Ibom State have dismissed a radio spat by one of them, Dr. Emmanuel John as personal and unwarranted.

Dr. John, the State Public Relations Officer of the NMA was also warned against bringing the revered medical profession to disrepute through his ignoble conducts.

Featuring on a live radio interview on INSPIRATION FM, Saturday the doctors, Dr. Iniobong Ettette, a Consultant, Gynecologist in the University of Uyo Teaching Hospital (UUTH) and Dr. Aniekan Peter, an Associate Professor and Deputy Dean of Basic Medical Sciences, UUTH, described the purported passing of a vote of no confidence on the State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Dominic Ukpong by NMA as a personal opinion of Dr. Emmanuel John as such decision hasn't been taken by NMA.

Reacting to the furore generated by Dr. John over the redeployment of the State Epidemiologist, Dr. Aniekeme Uwah and subsequent replacement, they argued that what the NMA should rather be concerned about how Akwa Ibom State could conduct more testing on the people to determine their Covid19 status and not being a meddlesome interloper in a purely administrative matter of government.

They reminded the NMA PRO that the body has no right to play a supervisory role over the Ministry of Health.

"Let me start by saying that passing a note of no confidence on the commissioner is not a matter to be taken lightly, so I don’t think it is something that should be announced on radio. But I’m not aware of any such decision taken by NMA in Akwa Ibom State.There is no such decision.

"He(NMA PRO) is a member of the executive committee which represents the members at every point in time, but we have not had any such position of passing vote of no confidence on anybody recently.

I’m here because I’m worried as a doctor to hear all this fuss.

"The Nigerian Medical Association has no supervisory capacity over the Ministry of Health of Akwa Ibom State Government.

"And so, whether the Commissioner redeploys a head of a unit in his ministry, is not any issue or problem.

"That is an internal issue in the Ministry of Health. NMA does not have supervisory capacity over the Commissioner or the Ministry".

"I repeat, NMA does not have any supervisory role over the Ministry of Health in any shape, manner or form. So, whatever the Ministry of Health does in its legal capacity as a Ministerial Arm of Government is not for us to judge, supervise or adjudicate over".

Dr. Iniobong John reminded the NMA PRO against unnecessarily distracting the public from the main issue at the moment, Covid19 which needs to be tackled, rather than dissipating energy over what does not concern the medical doctors.

"(Iniobong…) We keep getting one thing wrong. The Commissioner for Health has not said why he redeployed 15 people in his Ministry and does not owe us any explanation.

"We should never be worried because he served at the pleasure of the Commissioner who in turn serves at the pleasure of the Governor. Let’s not mix up issues. The issue is COVID-19 and not about one person being redeployed or not.

"The amount of noise we making, if make it over the testing, we would have made progress by now. If we had taken this kind of passion into the fight against COVID-19, we would made progress by now".

Following the announcement of Dr. Nelly Umoette to replace Dr. Aniekeme Uwah as state chief Epidemiologist, the NMA PRO in Akwa Ibom had rushed to the radio to announce that NMA has passed a vote of no confidence on the state Commissioner for Health and want him sacked, alleging that the Commissioner had also failed to declare to NMA how much the state government gave him to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

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