The NiMSA Southwest Convention is always a good opportunity for medical students from different schools to catch up. They all share their version of med school “shege, and most importantly, make political moves. In similar energy, delegates from different campuses prepared for this year’s NiMSA Southwest Convention tagged the Gateway Invasion. IFUMSA delegates were not left behind as well.
The energy the Gateway Invasion started with on the 21st of September, 2023, was a different one. At exactly 23:54, the night to the convention, a memo of change of venue dropped on the delegates group. Delegates woke up to the news of change of location on the day the event. The convention would now take place inside NYSC camp in Sagamu, Ogun state.
The news hit everyone hard but reactions from different MSAs were different. While some threatened to pull out their members from attending the convention and demanded for refund; some others took the news in good faith.
At 8am on the first day of the convention, a lot of delegates were skeptical about the journey- If they would be traveling down to the Gateway state or would remain in their respective schools. You can easily figure out the reason for these reactions.
The members of the region had vehemently fought against being hosted at the NYSC Camp in Sagamu previously. However, a security issue that happened in the town few days prior to the convention caused a change in location. The planning committee had to revert back to the old drawing board of using the NYSC camp for security purpose.
After long hours of dragging the Regional coordinator, the Local Organizing Committee; plus numerous letterheads of apology flying around, the good people of the High Flying region conceded to the new plan and began to travel down to Ogun state.
Onboarding went smoothly as there was enough space to accommodate every delegate. The LOC ensured that tension left everyone’s body at the welcoming bonfire party that night. I guess the best thing about public university hosting is the chance to party into the night. Partying till mama calls – and trust me, she never calls.
The convention officially started with the opening ceremony on day two. The theme of the opening ceremony was MCH: Matters Addressing the Scourge of Gynaecological Cancers in Nigeria. Through the keynote speech, long panel session, and plenty of academic talk, everyone was looking forward to the quiz and debate session to pick out the school to banter for the year till next convention.
Apparently, there wasn’t much to banter because it appeared that every school came to The Convention fully prepared, it was really a tough session. The good people of UI ended up winning the quiz section after overcoming the tie between UI, OAU, and OOU; while Bowen won the debate session.
IFUMSA was not far from winning as we came second and third in the regional quiz and debate respectively. The joy of moving your stuff swiftly and winning was palpable. I’m certain BAMS people will not forget the taste of winning in a hurry.
Other activities at the convention include the sports competition and medical outreach to the primary health care centre at Ikenne-Remo in Ogun state. The medical outreach involved health education in the marketplace and mobilization for free checkup at the health center.
The most beautiful part of this activity was that medical students across different MSAs were able to function together and offer free medical check up for the good people of Ikenne, Ogun state. Also, there were also free drugs for people who needed it based on prescription. The outreach was successful, the people were happy, medical students were happy, and the workers at the primary health centre were happy. Definitely, success doesn’t get better than that.
Usually, the dinner and awards ceremony marks the official end of the convention, so no stone was left unturned at the grand dinner. OOUMSA, the host school, invited everyone to come as kings and queens for the exquisite dinner tagged Wine & Dine with royalty. It was a grand dinner and they served three course meal. The small chops served was, definitely, from Harvard. Everyone agreed that it was solid.
At the end, the planning committee distributed awards. IFUMSA was presented with a certificate of recognition, Akosile Umuhanni got a gold medal for Scrabble at the NiMSA Southwest Convention e-games.
Also, due to one reason or the other, there was no caucus meeting at this year’s convention. Apparently, this means there will be reconveyance soon for the high flying region to deliberate on the state of affairs of the region.
The convention ended on a high note with delegates bidding each other farewell with laughter and hugs. Some even found love at the convention, some friendship, and others political affiliation for their ambitions.
The NiMSA Southwest Region is truly the high flying region. Cheers to more conventions!
Check out the report of 2022 convention here – The Abuad Experience