Pharmacists in the country have been advised to get involved in politics to enhance their participation in the formulation of national policies bordering on Pharmacy profession and pharmaceutical related matters.
This was the trust of the Thursday Plenary Session at the ongoing 94th Annual National Conference of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN) holding in Port Harcourt, Rivers State. The session titled: “Strengthen Pharmacy Practice through Political Action” chaired by the former PSN President and Chief Executive Officer, Barata Pharmaceutical Limited, Pharm. (Dr) U. N. O Uwaga.
While speaking on the topic, he noted that politics is relevant to every profession and more so to Pharmacy, so that the noble profession will not be sidelined.
One of the speakers at the session, a member of the Rivers State House of Assembly, Hon. Enemi Alabo George, expressed his worries when people who ought to be in leadership position abandon it in the hands of those that have no business in leadership.
The lawmaker, who noted that pharmacists are not utilising the powers they wield, averred that for pharmacists in the country to be able to influence policies that will favour the profession, they must be part of the politics.
“PSN should encourage members to join politics and as well constitute committee on politics. Pharmacists must be involved in the politics of the country to be able to influence policies. What pharmacists in Nigeria lack is action and interest. Don’t say politics is a dirty game, be part of it”, Hon George said.
Also speaking at the session, another speaker, a member of the National Assembly, Senator Sadiq Umar stated that Pharmacy practice in Nigeria can be strengthened through political action, but the political action requires all pharmacists to start joining politics individually and as a group by participating at all level and occupy political space.
In the same vein, the Special Assistant and Consultant to the Minister of Special Duties and Inter-government Affairs, Pharm. Alliyu Zakariyu, explained that, man by nature, is a political animal, but more importantly, pharmacists need to participate actively in the nation’s politics if the profession must overcome some of the challenges facing it and as well surmount problems in the pharmaceutical industry.
To strengthen Pharmacy practice through political action, Zakariya said pharmacists in the country must lobby the government so as to influence many policies and actions and this can best be achieved if pharmacists are active players in the nation’s politics.
He added that there is need for positive political practice to determine or affect policy and as well engage in political and social networking. He said pharmacists need to use diplomacy to be able to strengthen Pharmacy practice through political action.