…Tasks Young Lawyers To Promote Human Rights Advocacy


Bight Newspaper reports that Bayelsa Deputy Governor, Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, has reminded medical workers in Nigeria, particularly doctors of the need to obey their professional oath at all times in the performance of their duties.

This is just as he urged young lawyers to take interest in promoting and protecting human rights of the people as enshrined in the Nigerian constitution.

Senator Ewhrudjakpo spoke when the Association of Resident Doctors, Federal Medical Centre Yenagoa Chapter and the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) Community Development Service Legal Aid Group paid him separate visits in Government House, Yenagoa, on Tuesday.

According to a statement issued by his media aide, Mr Doubara Atasi, the Deputy Governor decried the situation where most doctors disobey with impunity the Hippocratic Oath they swore to before being inducted into the medical profession.

Senator Ewhrudjakpo emphasized that the Hippocratic Oath makes it mandatory for medical professionals to place premium on saving life first before considering the financial implication of doing so.

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He lamented that disobeying the oath together with increasing infiltration of fake doctors and their unprofessional activities had caused many avoidable deaths in the state and the country at large.

His words: “One issue I want to talk about is the issue of having a little more human milk in our medical practice. We still have a lot of cases of avoidable deaths.

“Some elements of negligence and unprofessional conduct are still there. It may not be from you, but you know, when oil stains one finger, it touches the other fingers too.

“So I will want to encourage you to step up your professional monitoring tradition. There are a lot of quacks masquerading all over the place.

“The other issue is when patients arrive, let’s save lives before we talk about money. More often than not, we have heard of cases like ‘oh, they have not paid and so we are not going to treat the patient!’ The Hippocratic Oath which you took did not state so.”

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Addressing the NYSC Legal Aid Group, the Bayelsa Deputy Governor drew parallels between contemporary legal practice in Nigeria and what was obtainable during the times of legal luminaries like Gani Fawehinmi, Rotimi Williams, and Nikki Tobi.

He noted that legal practice had suffered terrible setback, and therefore, challenged upcoming young lawyers to avoid the apparent blunders in the Nigerian Justice delivery system in recent times.

While assuring his visitors of government’s support, Senator Ewhrudjakpo specifically urged the NYSC group to initiate a radio programme to educate the public on fundamental human rights, stressing that many citizens were being oppressed due to ignorance of their basic rights.

He said, “I want you to focus on what you can do. I believe that quite a number of persons are not aware of their rights, and that is a major issue.

“And that will dovetail to the issue of domestic violence and human rights abuses that take place. I want you to find out whether we have any programme on air that educates us about our rights, otherwise we initiate one. ”

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The Bayelsa Number Two Man also charged them to make periodic visits to the Okaka Correctional Centre in Yenagoa with a view to following up on awaiting trial cases and ensure that inmates who deserved to be released were set free.

In their separate remarks, the President , Association of Resident Doctors, FMC Yenagoa Chapter, Dr. Sintei Shadrachson, and his NYSC CDS Legal Aid Group counterpart, Mr Fiwasayo Akintayo, commended the Governor Douye Diri-led administration for supporting health and NYSC programmes.

They, however, requested for government’s continued support to enable their organizations function more effectively.

While presenting an award of excellent performance to Governor Diri and his Deputy, the immediate past President of the doctors’association, Dr Mbooh Romeo, specifically thanked them for their enormous support that led to the success of the Association’s Annual Convention in Yenagoa.

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