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Rigging, violence mars medical doctors’ election in Akwa Ibom

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Election into executive positions in the Akwa Ibom State Chapter of Nigeria Medical Association (NMA) descended into chaos as reported cases of rigging and violence were recorded.

The poll took place at Doctors Mess, a relaxation hotspot owned by NMA, located at the Udo Udoma axis of Uyo metropolis.

Pandemonium erupted midway into voting when a certain Dr. Uduak Okon was caught trying to insert five already ticked ballot into the ballot box.

On inspection, it was discovered that the ballot papers were ticked in favour of one of the chairmanship candidates, Dr Ime Udoh. The discovery generated protests by some doctors.

Voting was stalled for about 30 minutes during which some senior doctors arrived the scene to ascertain the situation.

On getting to the election venue, a former NMA Chairman and medical sciences lecturer, Dr. John Udobang, upon inquiries from the returning officer, was physically attacked by an aide to Dr. Valerie Obot, who was the returning officer in the election.

Dr Udobang’s pair of eyeglasses was broken by the said PA.

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The former NMA Chairman sustained facial injuries and a bad eye.

He was subsequently taken to hospital for treatment, while the PA who is not a medical doctor was arrested by the police.

“The powers that be have finally hijacked NMA. They want to impose a stooge”, a protesting doctor lamented as he left the venue.

Teargas fired by police rented the air as some doctors, commuters and pedestrians scampered for safety.

Late into the night, the outgoing State Chairman of NMA, Dr. Nsikak Paul Nyoyoko, swore in Dr. Ime Udoh as winner of the chaotic election.

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