By Ihemere Blessing,Port Harcourt
We recently reported that the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital ( UPTH) chapter of the Medical and Dental Consultants Association of Nigeria(MDCAN) withdrew their services over the kidnap of one of their colleagues ,Dr Alex Akani of the Family Medicine department. They withdrew their services at 0008 hours on Wednesday, July 5th 2017 in line with the new Protocol of the Rivers state NMA over the kidnap of any medical doctor in the state . Recently ,medical doctors have been regular visitors to the kidnappers den in the state .
The communique that led to the withdrawal of service by UPTH MDCAN members
As we file this report ,another medical doctor is still being held captive at the kidnappers’ den reminiscing the ugly incidents of late 2015 and early 2016 where many doctors in the state were either murdered or successfully kidnapped. That led to the protest by members of the Rivers state NMA in January 2016 . During the protest ,the security agents assured the doctors that they were on top of the situation even when it was clear that the situation might have either swallowed or ‘buried’ the security agents. However , after the protest, it seemed as if the ugly incident was nipped in the bud though there was intermittent kidnapping of doctors in the state but that was at the lowest ebb .
You may also like:
However,earlier this year the ugly incident raised its ugly head again as a UPTH resident doctor was kidnapped inside the hospital while she was on call,she was kept in the nearby community called Aluu,a community that came into limelight with the gruesome murder of the four promising UNIPORT students popularly known as the Aluu 4. Apart from the notoriety of the community, the community plays host to the international headquarters and permanent site of the Omega Power Ministry(OPM) superintended by Apostle Chinyere Chibuzo,the man who handed the spiritual key to the Rivers state Government House to Barrister Nyesom Wike even before the 2015 election started .Aluu community also hosts the Region 5 camp of the Redeemed Christian Church of God(RCCG) and the late novelist, Elechi Amadi, hailed from the community .
As the dust raised by the abduction and later release of the UPTH resident doctors was about settling down ,another kidnapping attempt was made against Dr Florence Onua who resisted such abduction but she paid for it as she was murdered by the kidnappers at the prime of her career, untimely making her husband a widower. After that incident, Rivers state NMA said enough was enough, they took to the streets of Port Harcourt to register their displeasure over their confusion why humanitarian workers like doctors would suddenly become regular visitors to the kidnappers then. Unlike the 2016 protest,this year’s protest was counterproductive as more doctors have ‘paid’ visits to the kidnappers after the protest march . It is now a common occurrence to forecast how many doctors that could be kidnapped in the state making reference to the number of doctors that were kidnapped the previous month. The recent of such ugly incident was the kidnap of Dr Alex Akani of the Family Medicine unit of UPTH ,who was released yesterday after his colleagues withdrew their services. Meanwhile, the Rivers state NMA has cried out to the security agents and Nigerians to come to their aid as doctors are not targets of kidnappers in the state .