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Cross River: Medical doctors commence indefinite strike over kidnap of colleague’s wife

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Members of the Nigerian Medical Association in Cross River State chapter have commenced indefinite strike over the kidnap of the wife of their colleague, Mrs Christian Ekanem.

The wife, a staff of the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital, was kidnapped on Tuesday, at about 7am when she was about to enter her car to the office. She is an assistant director in the Hospital.

The Chairman and Secretary of the Association, Dr Agam Ayuk and the Secretary, Dr Ezoke Epoke in a communiqué jointly signed by them on Thursday, said the victim was kidnapped on March 10, 2020 by unknown gunmen.

The duo frowned that from 2017 till date, no fewer than 15 medical doctors and their dependents have been kidnapped within the state.

They explained that the strike followed the decision taken by the Association after an Emergency General Meeting held on Jan. 8, 2018, that the NMA in Cross River will henceforth withdraw all medical services without any notice anytime a Doctor or Dependents are taken captive in future.

The Association lamented that the perpetrators have struck again, thereby inflicting untold hardship and emotional distress to the family and the Association.

“The unfortunate incident of the kidnap of the wife of a member of NMA is worrisome. She was kidnapped at her home in Satellite Town in Calabar on Macrh 10, 2020. The NMA in Cross River is not unmindful of the impact of the withdrawal of medical services on the good people of Cross River.

“However, we cannot continue to save lives while we are under constant threat by armed bandits and kidnappers. NMA in Cross River has proceeded on a total and indefinite withdrawal of medical services in both the private, public and institutional hospitals in the state. This include University of Calabar Teaching Hospital, Federal Neuro Psychiatry Hospital, General Hospital, Medical Centres, Mission Hospitals and Private Clinics with immediate effects”, they said.

The Association pointed out that the indefinite action will continue until the wife of their colleague, Prof. Emmanuel Ekanem, is released.

They called on the state government and security agencies to expedite action and ensure the unconditional release of all victims currently in the captivity of kidnappers

“The Association hereby calls on Gov. Ben Ayade as the Chief Security Officer of the state to ensure the security of lives and properties in the state. The Association is also calling on President Muhammadu Buhari and the Inspector General of Police to declare a state of emergency on security in Cross River by mobilising human and material resources to curtail the increasing spate of insecurity within the state,” they stated.



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