‘Four doctors kidnapped in Cross River in 11 months’

 


The Nigerian Medical Association, Cross River State chapter, says four doctors were kidnapped at various times in the state this year.


The state chairman of NMA, Dr. Innocent Abang, disclosed this during an exclusive interview with PUNCH HealthWise on Friday.


He also demanded the safe release of their colleague, Dr. Godwin Udo, of the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital who was kidnapped in the state recently.


Dr. Abang had, on Wednesday, announced that doctors in the state had commenced an indefinite strike pending the unconditional release of their colleague.


Speaking with our correspondent on the development, he said, “The indefinite strike is a moral issue. We don’t have that kind of mind to continue working when a doctor is off and it could be anybody because this is one doctor too many.


“It is not like a random thing, it is well orchestrated by these people. So, we feel that if we can be treating the public and people have the mind to kidnap doctors, then our services are not important to them.


“If the doctor is working and not psychologically balanced, then the patient he is treating is also at risk.


“So, it is better we get out of it. We are not in the best frame of mind to attend to any patient. That is why we decided to down tools until we are in the best frame of mind. When we have our friend and colleague released, then we can work.”


Decrying the incessant kidnapping of their members, the NMA chairman said, “This is the fourth doctor that have been kidnapped this year. It is terrible. We don’t know why they have set their eyes on the doctors.


“In September, we had our member kidnapped also. Prior to that, we had two doctors who were kidnapped. It has been on and off. We also had doctors’ dependents who were kidnapped.”


He said the association had decided that anytime a medical doctor or his/her dependent is kidnapped, members would embark on an indefinite strike until the release of the victim.


Dr. Abang said the association had laid complaints before the state governor and the lawmakers about the incessant kidnapping of their members.


He, however, expressed optimism that Dr. Udo would be released soon.

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