By Godwin Otang
The State Chairman of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) in Cross River, Dr. Agam Ayuk has lamented the increasing cases of kidnapping in the State, arguing that Government at State and Federal level is not serious with the security of lives and properties of its citizens.
Agam who was a guest on episode 190 of The Dialogue With Agba Jalingo which airs on Sundays at Hit 95.9Fm Calabar, 6-7pm, reiterated that the suspension of medical services across the State is a self help measure by his union following the increasing rate of Kidnapping doctors.
On set wit him was Mr. Richard Inoyo, Executive Director of Citizens Solution Network. The State Police Command Public Relations Officer, DSP Irene Ugbo after being confirmed for the program and agreeing to be on phone refused taking calls when the program was live.
He said, “We had the wife of one of our colleagues kidnapped on the 10th of March, 2020, Mrs. Christiana Ekanem. And the Nigerian Medical Association had an emergency general meeting on the 12th of March, 2020. And we called for withdrawal of services across the State, both public and private health care facilities. For us as a body, we believe that in the speed of kidnapping we have been targeted in the past four years. The data we have from 2017, we have at least fifteen doctors and their dependents being kidnapped.
“Specifically, we have nine doctors kidnapped, and six dependents also kidnapped. With the current case in view, that takes it to about sixteen. So we resolved, that as members of the society, we cannot just sit down and wait for the next person. We know the impact of kidnapping, both health wise, mentally and psychologically”. He said.
Speaking on the current security situation in the State capital, Dr. Ayuk emphasized the need for the Government (Federal and State) to get to work.
According to him, “Security is in the hands of Government, even though we all have our paths to play. And for us we are playing our own part, we want Government to protect us so that we can do our work. We are hoping that the wife of our colleague will be released safely and unconditionally.”
On the moral burden of withdrawal of services, the NMA Cross River State Chairman, retreated that they have been pushed to the wall and are now victims.
“Turn the question around, we are the victims here. You don’t expect us to go on carrying out our activities as if nothing has happened. We are the victims here. The question is, is the Government really responsible to the people? We hear a security council meeting was called, has the State been addressed?
“What steps has been taken to curb this menace? What steps has been taken to ensure that we go back to work? Does the State really care about the people they claim to be ruling? We have not heard any official statement.
“Since even already kidnapped victims are mostly kidnapped at the comfort of their home, fence. All arms of Government should come to play. The last time we did a street protest. We asked for an anti kidnapping law, and since then no ascent to the law. For us it looks as if those we have elected are not serious about our security”. He said.
He concluded by asserting that from the perspective that Calabar used to be a place to come and live in peace, they as a union are disgruntled with the pace at which the authorities are carrying out their duties.
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