By Sylvia Akpan, Government House Correspondent
Sequel to the kidnap of a member of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) – Prof. Ekanem Philip Ephraim, the Cross River State Government has assured that efforts will be doubled for her safe release.
Doctor Ekanem Phillip was on Thursday last week whisked away by unknown men in her residence along the Mountain of Fire and Miracle Ministries, Atimbo.
Following the kidnap, the Nigerian Medical Association, Cross River State chapter in a communique issued on Sunday, said it has withdrawn all medical services in the State till the victim is released; a gesture that is beginning to cripple medical accessibility.
Meeting with some security operatives and NMA in Calabar, the Deputy Governor, Honorable Peter Odey, gave the assurance that the necessary arsenal will be deployed to rescue the University of Calabar Consultant.
He pleaded that the NMA should exercise patience as security holds an outstanding position in their administration as revealed by Governor Otu during the May 29th inaugural speech.
Meanwhile, Dr. Felix Archibong, the Chairman of the NMA, Cross River chapter, who led the delegation to express their deep concern over the abduction of their colleague appreciated the Governor and his Deputy for their prompt response.
He expressed worry that it had been over 72 hours since the Doctor was kidnapped and appealed to the government to expedite the response of the state’s security agencies to secure swift release.
Brig. Gen. E. I. Okoro, Commander of the 13th Brigade of the Nigerian Army, urged the doctors to reconsider their plan to proceed on strike.
He noted that Dr. Archibong had already acknowledged the government’s proactive approach to security, emphasizing, a strike would only embolden criminals and make doctors vulnerable targets in the future.