Meliat-From-UIMSA: How Well?

George Santayana said, “Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it”. The most recent Executive Council of our beloved association was officially dissolved on the 29th of March, 2024 etching the names of this council on the long list of leaders the association has had.

Now, another electioneering season is upon us, fliers are flying about and politicking is in progress. However, for us to move forward in the right direction as an association we must adhere to the words of Santayana, and what better way to learn from history than to scrutinize the actions of the leaders that have gone before us? 

As part of her constitutional duty, the UIMSA Press bears the heavy burden of carrying out this task for all UIMSAites. With this in mind, the Press is beaming the searchlight of accountability on each office in the just concluded executive tenure. The Assistant General Secretary’s (AGS) office is at the heart of this evaluation. To make this evaluation objective, we shall investigate and compare the account of stewardship tendered at the end of the tenure to the promises made before the keys to the office were handed over.

Constitutionally, the AGS:

  • Shall assist the General Secretary in his/her duties and deputize for him/her in his/her absence.
  • Shall assist the Vice President in the coordination of the social and cultural activities of the Association.
  • Shall carry out any other duties as may be assigned to him by other articles of this Constitution and the Executive Council.

These, and more were expected of Miss Eze Peace when she was elected about ten months ago. Unfortunately, she couldn’t fulfil these duties as she tendered a letter of resignation on the 25th of October, 2023 citing ‘personal issues’ as her reason. About a month after, the affairs of the office of the Assistant General Secretary once again gained bearing when Miss Abu-Idris Meliat was elected captain. She was sworn in on the 22nd of November 2023 per due process. 

Miss Meliat vs Constitutional Duties

In an interview with the Press, the AGS stated that she served as the Secretary of the Secretariat Committee. She also served as the secretary of the UIMSA Research Committee, where she couldn’t ‘do much’ because most of the tasks had been done before she resumed office. However, she was able to release the notice of a laboratory research opportunity from a partnership between UIMSA and The Institute of Genomics and Precision Medicine, UCH. All these were done in fulfilment of her duty of assisting the General Secretary, as the General Secretary heads both of the committees. 

As per her constitutional duties, she was also the Secretary of the 62nd Health Week Central Planning Committee. In the same interview, she claimed responsibility for the Space held on X (fka Twitter) to debate about the Top 50 songs of 2023. This Space garnered about three hundred and fifty listeners from the six classes, fostering intra and inter-class interactions. However, upon investigation, it was discovered that the Space only held once during her 4-month spell in office. When asked, she retorted that her MB exams and the scheduling of the Health Week activities came between her and hosting another space.

Miss Meliat vs Other Plans

A week after her swearing-in, the new AGS created the UIMSA Central Group on WhatsApp – a welcome development – as it quickly became a platform for quick information dissemination amongst UIMSAites. This line of action is intriguing, as it wasn’t on her manifesto, but was, in fact, one of the plans of Miss Eze Peace. When questioned, she stated that the President instructed her to do so. 

One of the promises in Miss Meliat’s manifesto was to ensure the continuity of projects started by her predecessors. Some of these projects were:

  • The monthly release of the UIMSA Newsletter 
  • Continuation of the UIMSA Usher’s Program
  • Improving the monthly birthday graphics.

As for the release of newsletters, she sent general newsletters on the 8th & 31st of December, 2023 and on the 7th of February, 2024. She also sent special exam newsletters to the 2k24 and 2k26 classes. So, of the four months she served, she only sent newsletters in two. When asked about this, the AGS said she couldn’t remember why she didn’t send them in January, and that Health Week activities stood in her way again in March but proudly mentioned that the newsletters were delivered to about 500 UIMSAites. Now, this would be an impressive figure if the AGS for the previous tenure– Miss Jayeoba Olamide, had not asserted in her account of stewardship that she grew the recipients of the UIMSA newsletter from 500 students to about 1000 students. When confronted with this, Miss Meliat explained that the previous AGS used a different website, so she didn’t have access to her figures, she also said the 500 UIMSAites are students who actually opened the email. Finally, her last reason was that a class graduated and a new class came aboard.

Investigations revealed that she kept the third promise as classes received their monthly graphics for December, January, February and March. However, that of March was released late because of the activities of the Health Week. When asked about April’s, she said it was unfortunate they wouldn’t get any because she was out of office and it wasn’t her responsibility.

Lastly, for the UIMSA Usher’s Program, the AGS stated that the Ushering team had four outings during her tenure, all of which were productive. She advised that the incoming AGS ensures that anyone interested in joining the team presents his/her receipt of payment of dues, as this proved a challenge when she handled the team.

Conversations with UIMSAites revealed mostly contentment with Miss Abu-Idris Meliat’s time as AGS. Objective observation also shows that her tenure was largely successful, deserving praise and commendation. Her successor must look to build on this and also shore up her shortcomings. 

 Olokungbemi Gerald

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