Home NewsAfrica Prof. Tomori raises concern over exclusion of Nigeria for WHO Africa Director Role

Prof. Tomori raises concern over exclusion of Nigeria for WHO Africa Director Role

by Haruna Gimba
0 comment

By Iyemah David

A Nigerian scientist Professor Tomori Oyewale has raised concern over continuous exclusion of Nigeria from the role of Regional Director for the World Health Organization (WHO) African Region.

Professor Tomori, a renowned Nigerian virologist and former Vice Chancellor of Redeemers University, expressed his concern in an interview with newsmen I Abuja.

A document “Code of Conduct for the Nomination of the Regional Director” outlines guidelines established during the 68th session of the Regional Committee for Africa in Dakar, Senegal, held from 27–31 August 2018.

Its purpose is to enhance the transparency, fairness, and credibility of the process for nominating the Regional Director of the World Health Organization (WHO) African Region.

This Code builds upon existing rules and procedures, particularly Rule 52 of the Regional Committee’s Rules of Procedure, and incorporates principles such as fairness, equity, transparency, and non-discrimination.

It addresses specific aspects of the nomination process, including the submission of proposals, electoral campaigns, and the conduct of Member States and candidates.

The Code emphasises ethical conduct, mutual respect, and the avoidance of conflicts of interest among candidates and Member States.

Key provisions include the standardization of curriculum vitae submissions, restrictions on campaign activities, and guidelines for maintaining confidentiality during the nomination meetings.

The adoption of this Code aims to harmonize practices across WHO Regional Committees and uphold the integrity of the nomination process for Regional Directors in the African Region.

Despite having highly qualified candidates, Professor Tomori said that Nigeria has never held this influential position.

He attributed  this to a lack of governmental support, especially from the Coordinating Ministry of Health and Social Welfare in Nigeria, which he alleged often shows bias in favour of candidates from specific tribes rather than supporting the most qualified individuals.

Tomori highlighted  that this persistent geopolitical favoritism and calculated negligence have frustrated capable Nigerian candidates.

“This pattern of internal opposition has resulted in Nigeria’s absence from a significant role in global health leadership, undermining the country’s potential contributions to WHO Africa’s mission,” he said.

The names of the candidates for the election of the next Regional Director for the WHO African Region were sent by WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus to the relevant Member States on June 14, 2024.

The candidates proposed by their respective countries are; Dr N’da Konan Michel Yao (Côte d’Ivoire), Dr Boureima Hama Sambo (Niger Republic), Dr Richard Mihigo (Rwanda), Dr Ibrahima Socé Fall (Senegal) and Dr Faustine Engelbert Ndugulile (Tanzania).

Meanwhile, the Regional Committee of the WHO African Region will vote to nominate the next Regional Director in a closed meeting during its seventy-fourth session from 26–30 August 2024 in Brazzaville, Republic of Congo.

The nomination will then be submitted for appointment by the 156th session of the WHO Executive Board, which takes place in January 2025 in Geneva, Switzerland.

The newly appointed Regional Director will take office on 1 February 2025 for a five-year term and be eligible for reappointment once.

The Regional Director is appointed by the WHO Executive Board in agreement with the WHO Regional Committee for Africa.

The Director-General informs each Member State of the Region, at least 11 months before the opening session of the Regional Committee at which a person is due to be nominated as Regional Director, that he will receive proposals for the names of candidates for nomination.

Any Member State of the Region may propose one or more people for the post of Regional Director.

The Regional Director is elected by secret ballot at a private meeting of the Regional Committee.

Related Articles

Leave a Comment

About Us

Feature Posts


@2024 – Health Reporters