By Gordi Udeajah
Umuahia — The Abia state Chapter of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) has been thrown into turmoil following disputed election.
The election, which took place during the 2018 Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the association, produced two claimants to the Chairmanship position.
The two claimants are Dr (Mrs) Carol Iwuoha and Dr Udo Mark both staff of the Abia State University Teaching Hospital Aba.
The immediate past Chairman Dr Prince Onyemachi however handed over to Dr Iwuoha who he described as duly elected in accordance with the NMA rules and guidelines.
Four candidates who had been cleared to contest the chairmanship position were Drs Udo Mark, Rock Hemuka, Isaiah Abali and Mrs Iwuoha.
The aggrieved three male contestants had faulted the non application of eligibility conditions for contestants which were that they must have attended at least three general meetings (excluding emerging meetings) of the NMA after the last election annual general meeting (AGM) with the names of eligible voters published at least six weeks to the date of the proposed general election and must not be in default in payment of any state dues and levies.
In their joint petition to the NMA National President Dr Francis Faduyile dated 19 June 2018 two of the Chairmanship candidates Drs Rock Hemuka and Isaiah Abali urged that fresh election be conducted in accordance with the rules.
They stated that the Screening Committee of the election which had Dr Gad Uzoaga as Chairman had fouled the rules in (i) by putting the names of members who attended only one meeting as against the attendance of at least three general meetings stated clearly in the rules and regulations, (ii) did not even consider members financial status in the eligibility criteria” and also failed to publish the eligible voters list six weeks before the election.
According to their petition, when the motion to set aside the rules and regulations was moved by the serving Secretary Dr Godswill Ogbonnaya at the AGM and validly seconded using the provisions in the NMA National Constitution, since Abia state rules and regulations do not have any provision for setting aside our rules and regulations but has provision for amendment, the immediate past state NMA Chairman Dr Onyemachi “blatantly refused to act on the said motion that would have allowed the electorate vote without using the eligibility criteria in the rules and regulations.”