From Ann Godwin (Port Harcourt)
THE Nigerian Medical Association, Rivers State Chapter has threatened to shut down services following the incessant kidnapping of medical doctors in the state.
The Public Relations Officer of the Association, Dr. Briggs Aluye, made this disclosure while appealing to the government and the public to intervene for the immediate and unconditional release of their Colleague, Dr. Thankgod Chukwudi.
Chukwudi was kidnapped at about 6.30pm on Tuesday while on his way back home by yet to be identified gunmen in the state.
The NMA spokesman disclosed that the kidnappers had earlier demanded N150 million as ransom for the victim’s release but lamented that they have scaled down the ransom to N12 million which he viewed as very worrisome .
Why wondering why gunmen would continue to kidnap doctors who are out to save lives, Aluye said the hoodlums should consider that they may need the assistance of the doctors someday.
“The kidnappers should consider that doctors are out to save lives; they may need the assistance of the doctors they keep kidnapping one day; They should also remember that the doctors must have treated their relatives or may save their relatives lives”
It would be recalled that the, the Head of Chemical Pathology Department at the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital (UPTH) Dr. Chituru Orluwene was abducted on December last year at Obiri Ikwere junction along the East West road on his way back from work.
There have been reoccurring cases of kidnap of medical doctors since after that incident which may have prompted the threat by the medical doctors.
According to Aluye, “doctors will not take it kindly anymore over the reoccurring cases of kidnap of our colleagues; we are working to save lives, I wonder why we will not be allowed to carry out our statutory duties peacefully”.
“We are not comfortable with the ugly trend , the fact remains that kidnapping is still ongoing and has become a lucrative business for many, so government need to step up surveillance in the state and the country to provide adequate security for its citizens” .He added.
Contacted, the State Police Public Relation officer, Mr. Ben Ugwulegbu said the police is working acutely to ensure the safe release of Dr. Chukwuchi.
He assured that the police would not relent in its duty to ensure the safety of lives and properties.
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