Saturday, 6 January 2018

Cross River State Medical Doctors to down tools owing to doctor-targeted kidnapping of members

|06 January, 2018| Corespondent

The Cross River branch of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) has decided to embark on an indefinite and total withdrawal of her services to the public in protest against the threat to the lives of her numerous members Thedailynews can report authoritatively. 

This decision was arrived at yesterday after her Emergency General Meeting (EGM) at General Hospital, Calabar where she issued a press statement in respect of the kidnap of Dr Usang Ekanem, Chief Medical Director of College of Education Medical Center, Akamkpa on Tuesday, 26 December 2017. 

In a statement signed by the state chairman of NMA, Cross River, Dr Effiong Mkpanam, the body has instructed her members in the state to, beginning from Monday, 8 January 2018, embark on an indefinite withdrawal of medical services to both private and public medical institutions. The strike will continue until her senior member, Dr Ekanem is released safely. 

The statement reads in part, 'As we address you today, it is with grief that we make public the fact that a very Senior Medical Practitioner and a one-time Chairman of Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) has been in kidnappers den for ten days and counting specifically from Tuesday 26th December 2017 and the State Government and various security agencies in the state seem unable to offer any meaningful assistance towards securing his release. 

'It is from the foregoing, that the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) Cross River State Branch arising from this Emergency General Meeting and believing it has allowed enough time for constructive negotiations, hereby make bold to take the following measures until the safe release of our colleague from his captivity in the kidnappers den is facilitated by those saddled with that responsibility. 

'The NMA CRS hereby instructs all its members, both in public and private medical facilities (University of Calabar Teaching Hospital, Federal NeuroPsychiatry Hospital, Institutional Hospitals, General Hospitals, Medical Centers, Mission Hospitals, and private clinics and hospitals) within Cross River State, that as from 8AM on Monday 8th January 2018, to observe a total and indefinite withdrawal of medical services to members of the public, until such a time that our colleague is safely released by his captors and measures taken to forestall future occurrences'.

'We are hereby using this medium to call on the following persons, His Excellency Prof. Benedict Ayade, the Chief Security Officer of Cross River State, the Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Kpotun Idris, the Assistant Inspector-General Police (AIG) Zone 6,
Abubakar Marafa, the Commissioner of Police Cross River State Command, Hafiz IM, the Director-General Department of State Services, Lawal Musa Daura and the State Director, Department of State Services to immediately intervene as a matter of urgency, to ensure the immediate SAFE release of our Colleague and to forestall the unpleasant consequences that a total shut down of Medical Services will cause the good people of Cross River State.

'We also enjoin the security agencies in the State, to heighten their intelligence 
gathering and service delivery to prevent future reoccurrence of “DOCTOR-TARGETED” kidnapping in Cross River State. The Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) Cross River State regrets any inconveniences this action taken may cause the general public and wish to advice law abiding members 
of the public requiring Medical Attention within this period, to seek services in 
neighboring States of the Federation. We cannot continue to safeguard the lives of others, while ours is under constant threat by kidnappers and armed bandits and those charged with the responsibility of offering protection simply watch us suffer physical and psychological trauma', the statement continued. 

In addition, the NMA Cross River has also threatened to embark on any such industrial action without notice should her member experience any of such threat. While she regrets any inconveniences their decision may cause the public, she has observed that one medical practitioner seem to be kidnapped every month. Hmmm! 
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