Kidnapping: Medical Doctors In Cross River Suspend Services, Demand Redeployment Of Police Commissioner

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By EDEM DARLINGTON, Calabar

Arising from an emergency meeting Tuesday evening , the Cross River State branch of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) has suspended medical services in all private and public health institutions in the state until further notice.

According to a communique sighted by AUTHENTIC News Daily, the umbrella body of medical doctors said  they resolved ” to immediately withdraw all medical services in all Hospitals; Private and Public, from the hills of Obanliku to the creeks of Bakassi LGA, until our colleague is released to us, SAFELY without any conditions”

The call follows repeated kidnappings of member of the medical doctors association in the state.

AUTHENTIC News Daily had earlier reported the kidnapping of Dr. Emem Moses Udoh, a senior paediatrics with the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital, early Tuesday morning while returning from work, taking along with them some of her properties including her vehicle, mobile phones and television set, while leaving behind her 18months old baby.

The kidnap follows earlier kidnap of another medical practitioner, Ushang Ekanem in Akamkpa LGA.

But arising from their emergency meeting in Calabar, the medical practitioners said it “cannot continue to safeguard the lives of others while ours is under constant threat by armed bandits and kidnappers”

The association cautioned that its ” Members are to immediately withdraw all medical services in all Hospitals; Private and Public, from the hills of Obanliku to the creeks of Bakassi LGA, until our colleague is released to us, SAFELY without any conditions”

It also called on the immediate redeployment of the state Police Commissioner Hafiz Inua following what they described as ” upsurge in kidnapping and violent crimes in the state”

The release signed by the branch president Mr. Effiong Mkpanam reads in part,  ” The Nigerian Medical Association Cross River State for the avoidance of doubts cannot continue to safeguard the lives of others while ours is under constant threat by armed bandits and kidnappers.

“It surprisingly will appear at this point, that the various security organisations in the State are either helpless or are complicit in this kidnapping racketeering in Cross River State or how else will one explain the fact that a Doctor is kidnapped just within three (3) days of the release of another from kidnappers and the perpetrators of these heinous crimes are never identified and arrested.

“From the foregoing, the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) Cross River State Branch therefore resolves as follows:
Members are to immediately withdraw all medical services in all Hospitals; Private and Public, from the hills of Obanliku to the creeks of Bakassi LGA, until our colleague is released to us, SAFELY without any conditions.

“We call for the immediate transfer of the Commissioner of Police, Cross River State Command out of this State, due to the upsurge in kidnapping and violent crimes in the State.

“The Inspector General of Police (IGP) should as a matter of urgency send a carefully selected Crack Team of Specially Trained Officers to save the lives of law abiding citizens of Cross River from the onslaught of these kidnappers”

Meanwhile a source close to the kidnapped medical doctor, said the kidnappers have establish contact with the family demanding as ransom N10m. At the time of filling this report, the source could however not confirm whether the money has been paid.

Police spokesperson in the state, Irene Ukpo confirmed the kidnap but denied knowledge of any ransom demand. She said “the command was doing everything possible to secure the release of Dr. Emem”

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