Ahead of the 2023 general elections, the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) has recommended that all presidential and governorship candidates should be subjected to compulsory psychiatric evaluation to ascertain their mental health and soundness.
GoldenNewsNg reports that the NMA President, Dr. Uche Ojinmah stated this on Tuesday while speaking with The Punch in Abuja.
He listed a number of tests that candidates vying for political seat should undergo to ascertain their state of health and fitness for office.
Ojinmah said; “Simple medical check-ups such as chest X-ray, cardiac echocardiography, abdominal ultrasound scan, urinalysis, kidney function test, liver function test, blood pressure and blood glucose assessment will give one a comprehensive view of the state of the body system.
“Sadly, people applying for top level jobs like Chief Medical Director or Medical Director in our public service are made to undergo these tests while those contesting for executive and legislative posts don’t.
“We also want them to undergo psychiatric evaluation. These shall exhaustively evaluate the people vying for the ultimate job in Nigeria.
“The NMA could be given the responsibility of choosing an independent panel of people who are well known in those different fields to carry out the tests because the problem is that if you allow a government agency like the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria or others, the government in power can influence it.
“So, we will prefer a professional body to be given the responsibility of setting up a panel of renowned specialists in the necessary areas to carry out a clear survey and present the report to the Independent National Electoral Commission.
“If a mad man is about to be president, we should be told, that is just the truth. We see a lot of things going on with those in power, you will realise that there is imbalance. So, I think the results should be made public, we have a right to know.
“When they are going to vie for a Medical Director or Chief Medical Director of hospitals, they do most of these tests and those who will take the decision of choosing will see the results. So, people are going to be President and they don’t think that we should see their results? We are the ones to make that decision, we should see their results.”
On whether candidates who are not medically or mentally fit should be disqualified or asked to step down, the NMA President said; “It is our position that if you have a mental problem or a neurological problem or you have any organ damaged that may not be treatable, or you are psychiatrically imbalanced, you should not be allowed to lead, you should be stopped. Will you make a mad man your traditional rulers? You will not.”