Doctors under the aegis of Nigerian Medical Association, Delta State chapter, have been directed to proceed on an indefinite strike on Monday, June 8, to protest the kidnap of one of their colleagues by yet to be identified gunmen.
The Delta State NMA is mobilizing its members to commence the phased withdrawal of service and peaceful protest walk today.
It will be recalled that Wisdom Iboyitete, a Principal Medical Officer, was kidnapped on June 1, 2020, at the General Hospital, Ojobo, Burutu Local Government Area of Delta State by gunmen who pretended to be patients.
The National Association of Government General Medical and Dental Practitioners (NAGGMDP) had since June 1 declared indefinite strike across the state.
The notice for the indefinite strike action was contained in a statement signed by the Delta State Chairman of NMA, Ekeneam Omo, and the secretary, Jude Ugbechie.
The NMA condemned in strong terms the kidnapping of the medical doctor, lamenting that its members have become endangered species in the hands of criminal elements across the state.
While expressing disappointment over what it called the reign of "kidnapping, robbery, herdsmen killing and insecurity" in the state, the NMA lambasted Governor Ifeanyi Okowa over his failure to secure the lives of Deltans and their properties despite the huge amount being received every month as security votes.
The statement reads in parts, “The events of the last five days have been very traumatic for us and to the immediate family in particular. The silence of the state government, the Ministry of Health and the Hospitals Management Board since the incident occurred is worrisome.
"This unfortunate incident has brought to the fore once again the need for the government to provide adequate security in our hospitals. In addition to kidnapping, we have had incessant cases of harassment and assault of healthcare workers by patients, patient’s relatives and host communities within the hospital premises while discharging their duties.
“We have had countless cases of the kidnap of doctors in the past but for them to now come in the guise of being patients in need of emergency care in the wee hours of the night is, to say the least, the height of desecration of the noble profession by taking advantage of our humane disposition to duty. How will we answer emergency calls at night when kidnappers now pose as patients?"
SaharaReporters reliably gathered that the abductors of Iboyitete had last week reached out to his family and demanded a N10 million ransom but later reduced it to N5 million.