Being a Press Statement on Recent Issues Bordering on Unification and Other Related Matters.
To all nursing students and Nigerian nurses, I hope we are keeping safe in this precarious time. One of my prayer requests to God is divine protection from the most high God. Please continue to keep safe.
I am acutely aware of the recent letter from the office of the NUNSA national president to all NUNSITES, including the interview text published by Nursing TV. I have taken my time to peruse the letter and the interview text. It then became highly imperative after the study to communicate all nursing students and all nurses across the federation on my position in the scheme of things.
Needless to say in this press statement are the benefits of unification to nursing profession at large. However, needful to address are some areas of concern.
Let me salute the astuteness of the national president of NUNSA for the good writings in his proposal and position letter to all his members, NUNSITES. He knows I have always been calm with him and respected him as the national president of an association and as an individual being after the likeness of God, like everyone under the sun. But recently, his unilateral position and stand in the address of unification and choice of words has drawn the attention of many students in various schools and colleges of nursing, and wisdom demands that I quickly address the issue so that the populace would not be misinformed.
It was captured in his letter and interview text that NANSNM drew the structure of the nursing students association (after unification) and wholeheartedly agreed to cede the seat of the national president of the new association to the university students. I want to correct this assertion so that the public won’t be misinformed. NANSNM only drew a PROPOSED STRUCTURE AFTER UNIFICATION. This proposed structure was captured in our program pamphlet during our National convention in Ebonyi State, in August 2019. However, both NANSNM and NUNSA national leadership transfer the duty of drafting the structure, name, constitution and logo of the new association after unification to the TRANSITION COMMITTEE. They did a wonderful job and submitted the document on 21st of December 2019. So, the TRANSITION COMMITTEE drafted the structure and constitution of the new association. In the constitution, the seat of the national president of the new association after unification was strictly allocated to the degree students upon several thoughtful deliberations. I was part of the TRANSITION COMMITTEE and I refused such at first, but when I saw the greater picture and what is obtainable in our society, I realized that it will be best for the president to come from an academic settings instead of hospital based system. Moreso, recognizing how difficult it will be for a president under the ministry of health to make solid academic demands from federal government of Nigeria through the ministry of Education, amongst other reasonable reasons, the committee resolved to make the seat only contestable to the degree students. As a progressive, I concurred. Going forward, the committee also realized how unfair it will be to concentrate all powers to the degree students, hence, the parliamentary system of government was introduced with the seat of the speaker of the house and the general secretary of the association strictly made available to students from schools and colleges of nursing, adding that the speaker will preside on meetings of the National Representative Council (NRC) as it is obtained in any parliamentary system of government wherein also, the national president will become a member during NRC meetings. With the above formation, there would be room for check and balance and fairness in decision making. But my friend, whom I love and respected, the NUNSA national president never mentioned the above formation in his letter and interview, maybe for purposes of political correctness.
Also, one of the lines of the interview text read that “they addressed us to suspend our national elections”. This statement sounded to us as if they have the duty to tell us what to do and we are obliged to follow such. I also want to correct this as well. The suspension of our national elections was secondary to thoughtful deliberations by the highest decision making body of NANSNM (NANSNM Congress). We invited the former NANSNM national president and NUNSA national president, Comr. Osepo ThankGod and Comr. Toba Odumosu who were the people that made significant waves in the pursuit of unifying student body. Comr. ThankGod couldn’t make it to Ebonyi but Comr. Toba Odumosu was able. We had a meeting and asked why the process failed after their tenure. The main point was “Handing over of power”, in the sense that the next administration is not likely to see reasons to midwife unification into fruition. Then, we thought of sacrificing our election for the course of unity for the first time in history. We presented the matter before the Congress. The deliberation took us all night in Afikpo then. Fortunately for the course of unification, the Congress agreed that the election should be suspended ONLY if NUNSA will be committed to the process and will also suspend their own national elections when next they will be having it if unification was not achieved till then. The NUNSA representatives agreed with the terms and conditions verbally, and verbally promised to be committed to the process. Later, we told them there’s a need for a signed document to back up our verbal agreement. At first, they inexcusably said NO that they can’t break their promise, that nothing will hinder unification from their end. We let them realize that it’s simple, since they have agreed, then they should sign MOU, should anything happen along the line.
In a nut shell, they later agreed to sign but the Senate president of NUNSA, senator Anya Moses changed a clause in the MOU to ” the transition committee set up to draft the constitution and the structure of the new association will cease to exist after October 2019 if unification remained unachieved till then” meaning that they will be at liberty to conduct their own national elections when next and hand over while we are left in forlorn hope. We disagreed with the clause from NANSNM end and later collectively resolved that “engagement and deliberations on the unification process will continue if unification wasn’t achieved till October 2019”. This is why the NUNSA senate president kept on propagating nay statements about unification, his president and myself.
Furthermore, one of the interview texts read that the NUNSA president chose to remain silent on the issue of LCN. I was surprised by this position. NANSNM made her position known awhile ago to the NMCN while NUNSA remain indecisive till date. I hold the view that this is not a time to sit on the fence on issues that will greatly impact our future. I hereby charge the NUNSA national to make its position known in an official letter, duly addressed to the registrar of NMCN.
Students in schools and colleges of nursing and midwifery in Nigeria have demonstrated the highest commitment, love, patience and trust towards unification.
I want to appreciate all the NANSNM members across the federation for this rare and robust commitment. Thank you. However, our colleagues in the various departments haven’t handled the unification as an important agenda for our collective emancipation. This is very sad. Moreover, NUNSA national in recent times has treated NANSNM with disrespect and less regard. NANSNM officials have been enraged and some resolutions have been made. Since NUNSA refused to reply the reminder letters sent to them on the issue of unification on two different occasions, one on the 9th of March 2020 and the second on the 8th of June 2020, we have interpreted them unready for unification at the moment. Since the NMCN who should be an institution to foster our unity has also left our letters to suffer inaction and further render all our letters a trash since 2018 till date, it’s high time we push further and hand over the baton of leadership to the next generation, and say few statements.
Our NANSNM national elections en route and soonest we shall be handing over. We have delivered our best for NANSNM and Nursing profession, as student union leaders.
Let me conclude by saying this, we are ready for unification anytime, because this is the only way forward, without UNITY, oppressors will continue to wax stronger. The earlier NUNSA realize this, the better for NURSING PROFESSION in Nigeria because ‘I don’t see NMCN and NANNM implement or support policies that would be injurious to our future IF WE ARE UNITED, CONSCIOUS, VIGILANT AND PROGRESSIVE as nursing students’
Comments, corrections and critiques are highly welcome.
NANSNM National President.