Monday 21 November 2016


Nurses under the aegis of University Graduates of Nursing Science Association, UGONSA, have issued a press statement in response to the 8th Senate’s rejection of the nomination of former Speaker of Kwara State House of Assembly, Rt (Hon.) Nurse Ezekiel Yissa Benjamin, as a non-executive commissioner of the Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC) on the basis of his background as a nurse.
This was contained in a statement jointly signed by its National President, Chief (Hon.) S.E.O Egwuenu, and National Secretary, Nurse. G.I. Nshi.

The statement read, “The attention of UGONSA has been drawn to the unacceptable and condemnable excuse given by the senate for rejection of the nomination of Rt (Hon.) Nurse Ezekiel Yissa as a Non-Executive Commissioner of the NCC, where they asserted that his background as a career Nursing Officer will not put him in good stead to be able to effectively cope with the dynamics of the communication sector if his nomination is confirmed.

“With all due respect we take strong exception to such jaundiced, careless and irresponsible assertion that was made not only in bad light but also craftily designed to denigrate the nursing profession and to portray Nurses as people that are below average in public service and administration”.

“We found it laughable that the Senate of a country whose basic qualification for occupying the office of the Executive President, the highest office in the land, is the possession of a “Secondary School Certificate” went wide of the mark to denigrate the nursing profession, whose least category of qualifications, the RN, takes a school cert holder not less than 36months of excruciating academic rigours to obtain".

“Any follower of events in Nigeria would not be oblivious of the fact that the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, who was also a former Governor of Kwara State has a political score to settle with Rt (Hon.) Nurse Ezekiel Yissa who had  since fallen out of favour with him in Kwara politics”.

“While we are not interested in joining the fray over political issues between the duo, going below standard to drag the most patriotic profession, nursing, into the murky waters of their political row crossed the threshold of senatorial decency and is unacceptable to we, the members of the nursing profession”.

“If Rt (Hon.)Nurse Yissa, who meritoriously served this country and retired as a Deputy Director in the Civil Service and went further to serve as the Speaker  of Kwara State House of Assembly, rising meteorically as a result of his capacity and competence in public administration to become the Chairman of Conference of Speakers, is considered bereft of recognized standing experience in public administration as prescribed by Section 7(1) (h) of the NCC Act simply because he is a nurse, it portends that for all of us nurses -  no matter how towering our  qualifications, character, capacity or competence may be or how meritorious our service to our fatherland may be, we shall never be good enough to be confirmed by the senate when nominated for public offices”.

“Such unpatriotic posture of the Senate is not only an open-market insult to the nursing profession but a careless and irresponsible joke that is highly inimical and capable of damaging and destroying Nurses’ uncommon spirit of altruism and selfless sacrifices for national building and development and  therefore must be condemned by every discerning mind”.

”The Sudden evaporation of  the age-long legislative camaraderie of “bow and go” accorded to former legislators nominated for national posts by the senate during the turn of Nurse Yissa, a distinguished legislator, underscores that the rejection was more of political scores than the primitive and empty excuse of nursing background given”.

“But for ignorance and poor sense of history the senators would have known that nursing is a global profession sui generis that is as gainfully challenging as any other profession where brilliant scholars distinguish themselves and that nurses have excellently distinguished themselves in services to humanity throughout history such that some, after serving as Presidents of their countries, are today celebrated as liberation and transformation figures e.g. Janet Jagan of Guyana and Machel Samora of Mozambique”

“It is very unfortunate that having a nursing background, which is a strong advantage in other climes, is considered a strong disadvantage by our own Senators, and, alas, was the only reason that informed their failure to confirm the nomination of a patriotic Nigerian who has enviably distinguished himself in public administration and services.”

“As we invite well-meaning Nigerians to prevail on our senators to retract this demeaning label on the nursing profession by effecting the confirmation of the nomination of Rt (Hon) Nurse Yissa Ezekiel Benjamin without further delay, we urge all nurses to maintain decorum and continue to make usual altruistic sacrifices for the nation despite this unfortunate and unwarranted attack”, -the statement read.
Chief (Hon.) S.E.O Egwuenu                                                          Nurse G. I. Nshi
UGONSA National President                                                        UGONSA National Secretary

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