At the obsequies of a former Senate President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Senator Chuba Okadigbo in 2003, the then incumbent Senate President , Senator Adolphus Wabara said, ‘ In every generation , a man rises above the pack becoming the defining standard, the rallying point and the leading light.’
For us in the Nigerian Medical Association, NMA, that man is Professor Innocent Achanya Otobo Ujah FNMA,mni who was elected as the 30th President of NMA on the 30th of May 2020.
This was also noted by the President and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, His Excellency, Muhammadu Buhari in his rare message of felicitation on the election of Prof Ujah as President of NMA.
The Nigerian President stated that He believes the elected officers of NMA have admirable profiles that will take the organisation to greater heights, particularly Prof Ujah,who has worked extensively with national and international institutions , and progressively contributed to the shaping of national policies on health in the country in different capacities.’
In the same vein, the Executive Governor of Delta State, His Excellency,Senator Dr Ifeanyi Okowa also stated in his Congratulatory message to Prof Ujah on his election, when he described him as a distinguished Medical scholar and outstanding patriot. He said that Ujah had distinguished himself as a professional with proven progressive experience in national maternal health policy development in Nigeria.
The 7th of September 2020, marks the 1st 100 days in office of the Prof Innocent AO Ujah FNMA mni led administration as President of NMA
The current National Officers Committee (NOC) under the able and proactive leadership of Prof Innocent AO Ujah FNMA,mni was inaugurated on the 30th of May 2020 following an historic first virtual Annual Delegates Meeting (ADM) and election of National Officers of the association. At the inauguration, he promised to run an all-inclusive government amongst other promises.
Right from his first day in office, the workaholic President of NMA has worked tirelessly round the clock to provide the right leadership for our great association and most especially to make every day count for all our members.
In line with Prof Ujah’s core values of innovation, creativity, honesty, transparency,due process and team play, he has remained focused on implementing his 10-point agenda as encapsulated in the IMPACT agenda geared towards service for results and IMPACT.
Within 100 days in office, Nigerian Doctors are already experiencing a fulfilment of these promises in different areas ,with many having accolades for Mr President and a few asking for more.
In the first 100days in office, some of the notable achievements of Prof Ujah as President of NMA include;
High level advocacy to relevant stakeholders to promote partnerships with government and NGOs with the aim of enhancing the welfare of members and improvement in health care delivery.
Some of these stakeholders include,
- His Excellency, the Executive Governor of Benue State, Dr Samuel Ortom.
- The Honourable Minister of Labour and Employment, His Excellency,Senator Dr Chris Nwabueze Ngige (ONWA)
- The Honourable Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire.
- The Chairman, Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria (MDCN) Prof Abba Hassan.
- The Executive Secretary, National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) Prof Mohammed Suleiman.
- The Director General, Budget Office, Dr Ben Akabueze
- The Head of the Civil Service FRN,Dr Folashade Yemi-Esan to mention just but a few.
In addition, in order to ensure the formulation of the right legislations to provide better health care services to Nigerians, Mr President also paid an advocacy visit to the Chairman, Federal House of Representatives Committee on Health,Hon Dr Yusuf Tanko Sununu and his Deputy, Hon Dr Samuel Babatunde Adejare.
In order to take his advocacy for a better health care delivery to the wider populace, Mr President featured on various electronic media programs on Channels TV,AIT, NTA ,FRCN,CNBC and VOA
Also, in the 1st 100days in office, Mr President intensified his efforts towards ensuring that progress is made in the building of a befitting permanent Secretariat for NMA in Abuja through prompt release of funds and regular inspection visits to the site.
Furthermore, with the COVID-19 pandemic currently ravaging countries across the world including Nigeria,the NMA under the leadership of Prof Ujah has used various avenues to educate and inform various segments of the society on the national response , prevention and the role of Nigerian Doctors in the response.
Mr President also took part in various meetings organized by NGOs such as Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) and also attended a meeting of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 on Thursday,27th August 2020.
In the 1st 100 days in office, the President has given priority to the welfare of members which was highlighted in the just concluded maiden physical NEC meeting of his tenure which was held in Abuja from the 27th to 29th of August 2020
He has also at various times advocated to government for the implementation of agreements entered into with the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) and her affiliates like MDCAN and NARD.
The 1st 100 days of the Ujah Presidency have been very eventful and as he continues to lay a solid foundation for his 2 years in office , the early signs are that better days are here for NMA.
The efforts of Prof Ujah have obviously not gone unnoticed. That is why he continues to receive accolades within an without.
The receptions started shortly after his swearing into office when the NMA, Plateau State branch hosted Mr President on the 4th of June,2020.
On the 17th of June 2020, he was hosted to a grand reception by the government and people of Benue State. This was closely followed by a reception by NMA, Benue State branch.
At the just concluded, NMA NEC meeting in Abuja, the Deputy Governor of Nasarawa State,His Excellency Dr Emmanuel Akabe paid glowing tributes to the great work Prof Ujah has been doing for NMA over the years.
So as Prof Innocent Achanya Otobo Ujah FNMA, mni marches on in his avowed commitment to implement his IMPACT AGENDA for NMA amidst cheers and high expectations from all and sundry, there is no doubt that the journey to a greater NMA is a collective responsibility that deserves all hands to be put on deck .
This is our NMA, and this is our Pride.
Congratulations, Prof Innocent AO Ujah FNMA,mni.
Office of the National Publicity Secretary
7th September 2020