There seems not to be an end in sight over the brouhaha that greeted the appointment of Prof. A.T Mora as the Chairman of the Pharmacists Council of Nigeria, PCN Governing Council, on Monday; as the leadership of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria, PSN, has threatened to embark on a total strike if the federal government doesn’t cancel the appointment.
The PSN President, Pharm. (Mazi) Sam Ohuabunwa and eight past presidents of the Society have notified the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd) of an intended industrial action across the federation if its decision to install A.T Mora as PCN Chairman is not rescinded.
The Society further threatened to order all registered pharmacists to boycott all activities of the PCN forthwith, including the Mandatory Continued Professional Development (MCPD), registration of pharmacists and pharmaceutical premises as well as other routine statutory activities of the PCN.
Impending strike action in pharmaceutical industry
The open letter partly reads: “Finally Your Excellency, the President and past presidents of the PSN from 1991 to date (9 in number) who are mostly very distinguished elders statesmen have decided to draw your attention to this matter because if the minister goes ahead to inaugurate A.T. Mora on June 15, 2020 as Chairman of the PCN, we are afraid that it may look like the government wants to disrupt the integrity and peace in the Pharmacy Profession which could lead to the following:
“A call on all hospital and administrative pharmacists in government hospitals, community and industrial pharmacists in the private sector to proceed on a total strike and withdrawal of their services. For the records, this might affect the logistics of production and supply of essential as well as other pharmaceutical care services and drugs to the entire health system including the isolation centres that cater for COVID-19 cases in Nigeria.
“A directive to all registered pharmacists to boycott all activities of the PCN forthwith. This will include Mandatory Continued Professional Development (MCPD), registration of Pharmacists and Pharmaceutical premises as well as other routine statutory activities of the PCN”.
PSN seeks FG’s attention for peaceful resolution of the matter
In an exclusive interview with Pharmanewsonline Thursday, the PSN President, Ohuabunwa disclosed that they are interested in the peaceful resolution of the issue, as they are considering all options to get government’s attention over the matter.
“We are determined to make our views known to the federal government using every means at our disposal to get them listen to us. Since it is not a personal or ethnic based issue, majority of pharmacists are solidly behind us, as they are aware that it is a principled battle in defence of our professional ethics and standard”, he stressed.
Ohuabunwa said this has necessitated the writing of a second letter to the federal government, wherein more explanation was made on the personality and character of A.T Mora, wherein Mora was said to have allegedly prevailed on the then Health Minister, Prof. Isaac Adewole to subvert the name of the PSN recommended candidate, Pharm. (Alhaji) Yaro Budah, for his own name, with the same reference number.
The second letter mailed to pharmanewsonline reads in part: “PSN as is the tradition recommended Pharm. (Alhaji) Yaro Budah, FPSN, mni, past president to the Minister of Health for appointment as the PCN Chairman. In the first letter of recommendation, the Minister of Health in the said letter dated 16th May 2018 with reference no DHS/830/1/28 recommended Alhaji Budah to the SGF for appointment as PCN Chairman.
“Then Alhaji A.T Mora went into his usual trade of subverting the PSN candidate, by lobbying, manipulating and coaxing the same Minister of Health to substitute the name of Alhaji Yaro Budah with his own name, thereby the second letter dated October 25th, 2018 with the same Reference no: DHS/830/1/28 was written to the SGF, now nominating Alhaji AT. Morah. This is the kind of person being foisted upon PSN as the Chairman of PCN. This travesty against the PSN cannot stand”, it stated.
Recall that PSN had on Monday rejected the person of A.T. Mora as the PCN Chairman, as they allegedly stated his role in the unauthorised alteration of portions of the PCN ACT in PCN’S compilation of pharmacy, drug & related laws and rules in Nigeria in 2009; his changing the names of PSN’s statutory nominations to the PCN Council in 2009 and his subsequent efforts to cover up many controversies surrounding his career pathway.
This notwithstanding did not prevent Prof. Osagie Ehanire, from installing A.T Mora as the PCN Governing Council Chairman on Monday, as he was widely celebrated on Facebook for his new appointment by some pharmacists, described as minority by the PSN president.
Mixed reactions trailed Mora’s appointment
Meanwhile, mixed reactions have trailed the appointment of A.T. Mora as the PCN Chairman on Facebook, while some felicitated with him, others queried his installation in spite of the several allegations against him by PSN.
A few of their messages read thus: “FG was fair and just to the PHARMILY. I congratulate Prof. Mora and wish him well. I also hope PSN will bend the knee before the now Oga at the top and continue to make pharmacy profession noble and great”, Suleiman Gidado Elnafaty, said.
Chigozie Agbanusi, a pharmacist also said: “I wonder if he has any moral right to discipline erring pharmacists in the exercise of his powers, having himself refused to be disciplined by constituted authority- Disciplinary Committee of PSN”.
Another well-wisher Pharm. Clement Idialu, remarked: “Congratulations. He should use the opportunity to establish good relationship with PSN by being above board and taking Pharmacy education and practice to lofty heights”.
Mora extends olive branch to PSN
On his part, Prof. Mora pledged to use his new office to resolve issues with PSN and other aggrieved parties as he had demonstrated earlier by withdrawing the suit he initiated against PSN some years back, in spite of the humiliation and persecution he claimed to have experienced.
Mora, in his post inaugural speech said: “As I conclude this post inauguration speech, let me seize this golden opportunity towards the process of initiation of healing of wounds perceived or indeed inflicted on persons or groups that are stakeholders in the Pharmacy profession over the years.
“I was subjected to all manner of humiliation, persecution and bad publicity by past and present leadership of the PSN including being dragged to the ICPC during the past ten years (2009 to date) which coincided with greater part of my second term as the Registrar and beyond. I had to resort to the courts to redeem my name and image, and at a particular instance instituted libel case against the society and which I was prevailed upon by some leaders of the Pharmacy profession to withdraw as way forward for reconciliation. I withdraw the case against the advice of my lawyer just to allow peace to reign in 2015 (five and a half years ago).
I want so say here and now that despite the anguish, psychological trauma and unnecessary anxiety by the past and present leadership of the PSN these part years and myself, family members and many of my admirers among whom are my former and present students in ABU, KASU and IUO, Okada, professional colleagues, especially the thirty seven (37) Directors of Pharmaceutical Services in the States and the FCT that came out to fully support my appointment by His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari GCFR I bear no animosity no grudge.
“In the same manner, I hope as pharmacists being major stakeholders within the profession we should look towards strengthening the profession and not breaking it. In the end, it is the Pharmacy profession, especially the regulation of the practice and education that we have just been inaugurated as a Governing Council established through LFN No 17vof 2004 to regulate and control that should be paramount in our minds at all times”.