Nigerian healthcare professionals in diaspora have lent their voice to the growing call for the urgent reform in the country to make it more efficient and better able to handle the requirements and challenges in the 21st century.
This call was contained in a release jointly issued by the Nigerian Association of Pharmacists and Pharmaceutical Scientists in the Americas (NAPPSA), the Association of Nigerian Physicians in the Americas (ANPA), and the National Association of Nigerian Nurses in North America (NANNNA). The release was jointly signed by the presidents of the three associations: Dr Anthony Ikeme for NAPPSA, Dr Christopher Okunseri for ANPA, and Dr Emilia Iwu.
The spokesman for the group and President of NAPPSA, Dr Anthony Ikeme submitted that such reform must be holistic and focus on all aspects of the force, including the recruitment process, training, compensations, and adequate funding for the police.
They argued that only a full-scale reform can bring about the desired commitment to professionalism in policing. “We stand with Nigerians seeking police reform in support of the wellbeing and survival of all Nigerians,” the group said.
It is inconceivable, the group said, that unprofessional conducts such as extortion, torture, illegal arrests and detentions, rape, and extrajudicial killings were allowed to thrive in the force for far too long, which eventually led to recent mass protests that degenerated into looting and carnage. The group said as Nigerians they are worried by the state of things in their homeland, especially rising insecurity, and the recent avoidable loss of lives to the protest.
They thus call for the amicable resolution of the issues at stake. “Our organizations stand in solidarity for the safety and health of all Nigerians and wish for recent events to come to an end with an amicable resolution that results in no more loss of lives,” the group said. “Ours is a desire for peace, safety, and wellness for all Nigerians,” it added.
The organizations reiterated their commitments to continue to serve their home country by providing their expertise, in line with their key objectives, to help contribute to ensuring “that Nigerians receive adequate healthcare, remain safe and prosper.” According to them, “The growth and prosperity of our country and its people always lead our initiatives.”
The associations have been very supportive of the country’s developmental agenda, and the ongoing fight against the coronavirus pandemic. In July, for instance, NAPPSA donated millions of naira worth of coronavirus pandemic diagnostics, PPE and other medical consumables to the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC). It also continues to provide regular global updates on the pandemic. Dr Ikeme had during the donation called for a new strategy for the future.