[From ANIEKAN ANIEKAN, Calabar]
Nigeria Medical Association (NMA) chapter in Cross River has deplored the incessant kidnapping of medical personnel in the state, saying doctors are now an endangered species.
State chairman of the association, Innocent Abang, disclosed this in Calabar during a protest by the association over the kidnapping of a pediatrician, Vivien Mesembe Otu.
Dr. Otu was kidnapped four days ago by gunmen along Marian Road in Calabar and her abductors have yet to make contact with her family.
The doctors who came out in their numbers said they will suspend their services in all public and private health institutions including the COVID-19 centres until their kidnapped colleague is released.
Addressing newsmen during the protest March to the governor’s office, Abang said: “We have come to present our grievances to the governor because of the incessant kidnapped of our colleagues and how we have become an endangered species in Cross River State.
“We pay tax in this state and we are also saving and protecting lives by being doctors so we want to tell the government please protect our lives and give us the privilege to save lives as we ought to”, Dr. Abang said.
Also speaking, Dr. Bassey Nakanda, President Medical Women Association of Nigeria, Cross River State chapter said they are heartbroken and depressed over the incident.
Addressing the protesting doctors, Ani Esin the State Security Adviser South said the government is working round the clock to secure her release and they are on top of the situation.
“We have been working round the clock since this happened and right now I can say that we are on top of this situation.
“We have all the information as to the locations and what is happening, which we cannot say it here. We are close to your colleague.
“I can assure you that just as you have said that she must be released, we stand by you on that. We are going to do everything in our ability to make sure that she is returned to you safe, sound and hearty”, Esin said.