HELP: We are being kidnapped incessantly, Edo doctors cry out

Doctors performing surgery on a patient

Doctors ask government to intervene

The medical doctors at Specialist Teaching Hospital, Irrua, Edo State have raised an alarm over the incessant threat to their lives by kidnappers, an ugly development, which recently led to the killing of an Obstetrician and Gynaecologist, Sunday Eruzegbua, in November 2013.

The physicians under the umbrella of Medical And Dental Consultants Association of Nigeria, MDCAN, in a statement catalogued the series of attack and kidnap of its members in the area.

The statement signed by the association’s Secretary, Maxy Odike, said the doctors at the hospital owned by the Federal Government now work and live in fear. Some, out of fear or pressure from family and friends, have left town to work elsewhere.

“To make matters worse,there doesn’t appear to be any visible intervention by various security agencies. Attempts made by the various medical doctors bodies to attract improved security from government have yielded no results. As it is, we are helpless. The government that should provide security, for suspected political reasons, has chosen to live in denial of these security situations,” the statement said.

The association chronicled some of the kidnapping and killing of its members in 2013.

*On May 1, a Specialist Physician was kidnapped at about 7 p.m. on his way home from working. Following a scuffle, he was shot in the abdomen and abandoned for dead. Emergency surgery was what saved his life.

*On August 12, a trainee physician was kidnapped abducted at about 6 p.m. at the gate of his house, while returning from work. He was later released after seven days in the kidnappers den.

*August 20 was the turn of the wife of an obstetrician and her six-month old baby. They were picked in front of the gate of their house in broad day light. Both mother and child were kept in the bush without a cover for four days.

*On August 25, a House Officer was kidnapped. His ordeal lasted six days. On November 7, a Cardio-Thoracic Surgeon received a threatening letter to either deposit N3 million or risk his children being kidnapped. He had to shut down every activity and took his family out of his residence. These included withdrawing his children from school and staying away from work. This lasted for four weeks till today he still move with fears.

*On November 29, at about 8 p.m., an Obstetrician and Gynaecologist was kidnapped along with his pregnant wife, one-year-old baby and a house help while driving home. After a short drive in his car, he received a gunshot to his chest. He died before help could reach him. His name was Sunday Eruzegbua (37).

*On December 23, a private medical practitioner and gospel minister was taken at about 7.30 p.m. while driving home from work. His ordeal ended four days later,when he was released by his captors.

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