By Tobias Lengnan Dapam
The Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) has said that the country’s healthcare system can not accommodate mass casualties from political upheaval.
The Association stated this in a statement recently signed by its President, Dr. Francis A. Faduyile and Secretary General, Dr. Olumutiwa P. Odusote.
The statement said NMA was “deeply concerned over certain developments in the political circles in Nigeria in recent times. Of note majorly are the overtly inflammatory statements by top ranking political leaders which have the real potentials of incensing partisan conflicts which could degenerate into communal clashes and attendant mass casualties worsening the already cheerless level of insecurity and violent conflicts in the country.
“Our worry is based on the fact that the country’s health system is still bedeviled by various incapacities ranging from chronic under funding, poor governance, very poor service delivery to lack of political will to implement extant laws, regulations and policies. These have manifested in poor health worker: population ratio with escalated emigration of medical and health workers, low carrying capacity of existing health facilities, absence of basic equipment, consumables, reagents, modern effective drugs and other tools needed to deliver efficient, effective, prompt and culturally acceptable medical care to the people of Nigeria.
“NMA as a foremost professional Association and the custodian of the health of the Nigerian people sees this as a patriotic duty to call politicians and some state operatives to order. The Association encourages the spirit of politics without rancor and bitterness and one that is strictly based on constructive engagements, factual debates and constitutionality. If by acts of omission or commission the nation is thrown into serious political chaos, the poor and vulnerable including women and children will bear the greatest brunt.”
The statement further called on all politicians, political parties, aspirants to elective offices and other relevant stakeholders to play by the rules while urging law enforcement agents to demonstrate unambiguous loyalty to their calling and the constitution of the country.
“They should be stringent in dealing with defaulters objectively and without let or hindrance.
“Finally, the Association advises Nigerians to be law abiding and resist the luring of politicians in being used as ready tools of the devil to destroy human lives and property in the name of political support and loyalty to politicians.”