The question posed by this headline will be answered on 2 November in the ancient city of Ibadan, the capital of Oyo State, during the 91st Annual National Conference of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN).
The election of the new PSN president and successor to the ebullient Pharm. Ahmed Yakasai, the outgoing president, will see an electioneering process never witnessed before in the history of PSN get to a crescendo and eventually end with the election of a new president that will pilot the affairs of organised pharmacy for the next three years.
This forthcoming election and the processes leading to it are unique in a number of ways. First, this election is perhaps the most openly competitive, where all the candidates have a level playing field to slug it out. And they (aspirants) have taken advantage of the open democratic space by to go all out to woo voters. They have gone on tour of virtually all the state chapters of PSN to campaign. Some aspirants, I learnt, have visited some states twice. This is impressive.
Also, unlike any other PSN presidential election in the past, social media campaign has been explosive, with its attendant positive and negative impacts on the electioneering campaign, as it is the trend globally nowadays. Candidates, I learnt, have had to engage people, specifically to market them on the various social media platform, as well as respond to those who disparage them. This alone has taken the election to a new dimension, as aspirants have had to step up to the dynamics of the social media world.
However, the singular and possibly most important reason this year’s election has attracted so much attention is the number of quality candidates that are gunning for the PSN presidency. There are four strong candidates: Pharm. (Mazi) Sam Ohuabunwa, Pharm. (Dr) Lolu Ojo, Pharm. (Dr) Daniel Orumwense and Pharm. Anthony Oyawole.
I interviewed the four aspirants for the October edition of Pharmanews and learnt firsthand their thoughts on most of the contentious issues facing Pharmacy. They are all well-grounded in all issues pertaining to Pharmacy.
I was also a part of the Pharmanews team that collaborated with the PSN to organise the first ever PSN presidential debate for the four aspirants. The event was held at PSN House, Anthony, Lagos, a couple of weeks back. I saw the four contestants answer the questions thrown at them extempore during the debate and I must say that I am more than impressed by their candour and comportment. They are all capable of doing a splendid job for Pharmacy as PSN helmsman.
Pharmacy is indeed blessed with an array of quality leaders and I have no doubt in my mind that whoever emerges president can and will do a great job for the Society. However, I must say that while the admirers and supporters of the four eminently qualified aspirants have been unequivocal in pronouncing their candidates as the next PSN president, it must be noted that the political chest-thumping notwithstanding, nobody is sure of who will emerge president from election
One thing is however crystal clear, a winner will emerge. May the best candidate win the election.