Kidnapping: Medical consultants urge FG to ensure security of doctors

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By Stephen Adeleye
The Medical and Dental Consultants Association of Nigeria (MDCAN), Federal Teaching Hospital (FTH), Lokoja, has urged the Federal Government to take proactive action to curb the menace of kidnapping of doctors across the country.

The Chairman of MDCAN, FTH Lokoja, Dr. Collins Egbeola, made the call while speaking with journalists after a procession by MDCAN members in the hospital to mark the “White Ribbon Day”, on Friday.

Egbeola said the essence of the White Ribbon Day was to call attention to the plight of medical health personnel, particularly doctors, as related to kidnapping.

“On daily basis, one begins to wonder what the life of a human being is worth in Nigeria. It is true that there is hardly any society that is absolutely free of crime.

“However, the situation in Nigeria in recent times has assumed alarming proportions that it is no longer healthy to sit on the fence or be indifferent.

“Kidnapping of people on highways, in homes or at work has continued to be a growing concern of cancerous dimension. People’s lives irrespective of tribe, religion or affiliation are being wasted.

“It is sad to note that health personnel, doctors especially, are now becoming targets of those involved in this unwholesome act,” he said.

The MDCAN chairman noted that one of its members, Prof. Ephraim Philip of the Department of Internal Medicine, University of Calabar, had been in captivity since July 13, 2023 with no certain information concerning her state, whether dead or alive.

“It is regretful that those who kidnapped her and other doctors generally do not entertain any consideration for them, their families and loved ones.

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“It is not better in our own dear state, as doctors and other health personnel have had their own share of this unfortunate experience,” Egbeola said.

He, however, commended Gov. Yahaya Bello for changing the tide in Kogi due to his unwavering and intentional effort in the area of ensuring security of lives and safety of properties of residents.

He urged the governor not to relent in making Kogi, a state where kidnappings would be a thing of the past, with zero worries.

“This White Ribbon Day is a modest effort to call attention to the plight of our other Hippocratic brothers and sisters generally abducted and held against their wish in captivity, and Dr Ephraim in particular.

“We identify with her family, friends and colleagues. We plead with her abductors to allow the milk of kindness flow through them and release her unharmed.

“We call on the government of Cross River to do all within its power to enable Dr. Ephraim Philip return to her loved ones in peace and in health,” he said.

Egbeola called on all well-meaning Nigerians to collaborate and cooperate with security agencies to make their work easier.

In his remarks, the Chief Medical Director (CMD), FTH, Lokoja, Dr Olatunde Alabi, said the hospital management had made deliberate effort to improve the security of both the staff and patients who patronised the facility.

Alabi, who was represented by Dr Bernard Ododo, the Chairman, Medical Advisory Committee (CMAC), said the hospital management had engaged security experts to sensitise the staff on security tips and awareness on how to stay safe.

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The CMD enjoined the Federal and state governments to continue to strengthen and empower the security agencies to effectively protect the citizens, especially health personnel.

He called on the security agencies and the relevant stakeholders to ensure that their abducted member in Cross Rivers regained her freedom. (NAN)(www.nannews.ng)

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Edited by Auwalu Birnin Kudu/Oluyinka Fadare

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