*Striking Cross River Doctors Insist They Will Not Resume Work
By EDEM DARLINGTON, Calabar
Kidnappers of a primary school teacher, Edwin Ekpo Edem have demanded as ransom for his release N1M, AUTHENTIC News Daily can confirm.
Mr. Ekpo Edem who is also the state marshal in the youth wing of the Nigerian Red Cross Society was kidnapped in Akpabuyo LGA near Calabar.
His kidnap comes few days after doctors in the state staged a protest march to the governor’s office in Calabar over incessant kidnapping of their member in the state.
Meanwhile, those seeking medical care in Cross River State may have to seek help in nearby states, as doctors in the state have insisted they will not resume work unless the safety is guaranteed and the security challenge in the sate improves.
This is sequel to a resolution of the Nigerian Medical Association, Cross River State branch, signed by its Chairman, Effiong Mkpanam and Secretary, Ikechukwu Ukweh.
The doctors say they “are not unmindful of the consequences their action may cause the general public but indicates that such action is to force government to ensure the protection of the lives of doctors and residents of the state”.
But in reaction to the action of the NMA, Mr. Jude Ngaji, the state security adviser in a letter expressed regret over the rampant kidnapping of doctors in the state, assuring them of government’s resolve to ensure their security.
Mr. Ngaji’s letter dated 12 January, 2018, and seen by this paper, confirmed the state governor’s approval of a security vehicle and military personnel to be stationed at the gate of the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital (UCTH).
But speaking with Authentic News on phone, spokesperson for NMA in the state, Dr. Ernest Ochang, described the SSA’s letter as annoying. ” we had considered resuming fully tomorrow (today) but the SSA’s letter is so annoying and we are informing the general public that we will sit at home until the general security in the state improves, this is not just about medical doctors but also about all resident in the state” he said.
The NMA in Cross River had last week withdrew medical services in the state owing to rampant kidnapping of their members.
Several ttempts made to get the reaction of Mr. Jude Ngaji failed as his mobile phone was switched off and the state government is yet to respond to the actions of the medical doctors.
Meanwhile, residents in the state have described the decision of the NMA to withdraw medical services as senseless and inhuman.
Some of them who preferred to remain anonymous and who spoke with Authentic News said the NMA’s decision was ill-advised. While calling on the state government to look into improving the security situation of the state advised doctors to rescind their decision for the sake of the masses.
“We understand their plight but we are all in the same situation in the state, is is not just about doctors but all of us. What if lawyers and other people on essential services decides to go on strike because their members are being kidnap how will that look like? a resident asked.