The recent appointment of Mr. Elijah Mohammed as the new registrar of the Pharmacists Council of Nigeria (PCN) is tearing the body apart and only the intervention of the supervising Federal Ministry of Health may bring peace to the council.
Already, petitions from aggrieved stakeholders have gone to the Federal Ministry of Health querying the selection of the Mohammed who is accused of not having the requisite civil service background to occupy that position.
In one of such petitions, obtained by THISDAY, the director of the South South zone of the PCN, Dr. Paul Ukaa Kuma Gar, is calling for the cancellation/nullification of the recruitment exercise purportedly carried out by Pharmacists Council of Nigeria and a new exercise conducted.
“I humbly write to draw your attention (Minister of Health) to a breach of Public Service Rule 020205 (a) by the Board of Pharmacists Council of Nigeria at her meeting of 28th May, 2014 where a decision was taken to appoint a new Registrar. “The rule specifies that applicants for appointment into the Federal Public Service cannot be less than 18 years or more than 50 years old.
“The Appointee, who has no public service experience, is 54 years old and is therefore not eligible for fresh appointment into the Federal Public Service as provided by the Rule cited above,” observed the petitioner.
According to insiders at the PCN, the recruitment exercise was allegedly marred by serious irregularities that led to the selection Mohammed.
The selection has led to sharp divisions in the PCN Governing Council. At the meeting of 28th May, 2014, the Chairman of the Governing Council, Mr. Bruno Nwankwo, appointed on part-time basis, was alleged to have bulldozed his way through the meeting to get his preferred candidate installed as the new registrar.
“The Chairman did not stop at imposing his will on the Members of Council but has proceeded to intimidate the Ag Registrar, Mrs. Gloria Abumere, out of office to pave way for the installation of Mohammed, despite pending protests that have been lodged with the supervising Minister and Federal Civil Service Commission,” observed the insider.
Also, contrary to Public Service rules, the chairman is alleged to have assumed personal control of the Registry and is issuing instructions directly to staff of the council who are also too intimidated to point out the error and say no to his orders.
A visit to the council’s offices revealed palpable tension as staff are demoralised at the drama playing out.
The situation at PCN, the regulatory body charged with the responsibility of regulating pharmacy in all aspects and ramifications.
Staff interviewed expressed worry at the development and hoped sanity would soon prevail and the Minister of Health would soon intervene for another recruitment exercise.