The Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) has said that eight doctors and six dependents have been kidnapped in Cross River in the last four years.
Dr Agam Ayuk, Chairman of the association in the state, disclose this on Thursday when he led members of the association on a peaceful protest to the Cross River House of Assembly.
He said that the protest was to demand for the safe release of their colleague, Dr Inyama Marcus, who was kidnapped on July 18 in Akpabuyo Local Government Area of the state.
He said that the association found it necessary to visit the assembly with a view to call on the legislature to intervene in the situation which he described as `worrisome and disturbing’.
“On July 18 2019, one of our colleagues, Dr Marcus was kidnapped on his way to his house. Since then, he has been in the hands of the captives and they are demanding very outrageous sum of money which we know is very difficult for doctors to pay.
“This is the 14th kidnapping on doctors and their dependents across the state within the last four years. We work day and night and we feel that we are not safe in carrying out our responsibility of saving lives.
“If we are not safe, we cannot save lives. People are on call and we cannot go out of our houses to attend to them. So we have to withdraw our services to strengthen the hands of government to do more in providing security.
“As we speak, many people are being kidnapped in Cross River day and night and we believe that the government whose primary responsibility is security and welfare of the people should do more to protect us.
“Cross River is no longer safe for us. We hope that this issue will be taken as a matter of urgent public importance because we want the unconditional release of our colleague,’’ he said.
Ayuk maintained that the strike embarked on in all hospitals across the state would continue until their member is release unharmed.
Responding, the Speaker, Mr Eteng Jonas-Williams, said it was sad for anyone to think of kidnapping a doctor, adding that the act was criminal.
Jonas-Williams said that the matter has already being scheduled to be taken at the floor of the assembly, adding that the house would set machinery in motion to address the issue.
“We need the Permanent Secretary on Security to come and explain to us. Within one week alone, I know of three persons that have been kidnapped within Calabar; this is a very sad development.
“We are with you, we will make sure that something is done urgently because I see no reason why doctors who save lives should be targeted and kidnapped always,’’ he said.
Addressing the doctors at the governor’s office, Prof. Ivara Esu, the state Deputy Governor, said that the state government was concerned and worried about the security of residents in the state.
Esu, who appealed to the association to suspend their strike in the interest of the public, gave assurance that efforts were on to rescue the doctor from captivity.
2 lecturers abducted in Kaduna escape from kidnappers den
The two lecturers, Umar and Adamu Chonoko, who escaped from kidnappers den in Kaduna on Sunday. Pic NAN
Garba said “the two siblings and indigenes of Kebbi State have escaped from their kidnappers and arrived the palace of Wakilin Sarkin Zurun Kaduna and were received by the Wakili around 11:51am today (Sunday). We thank Allah for their escape.”
According to him, Umar Chonoko went to deliver the N2 million and a motorcycle ransom to secure the release of his brother, Adamu, but was also held by the kidnappers who demanded for additional N5 million ransom.
“N3 million was delivered, making a total of N5 million, but the abductors made another demand of N10 million.
“Their demand could not be met. Just this morning, with the assistance of security agents, both of them escaped.
“We thank the media, security agencies and all those who helped us in praying for their freedom,” he said.
The Kaduna State Police Command Public Relations Officer, DSP Yakubu Sabo, also confirmed the story.
He said that the Command received the information on the escape of the lecturers from their family.
Sabo said that the Commissioner of Police, Mr Ali Janga while rejoicing with the families and friends of the victims, assured members of the public that the perpetrators would be apprehended and brought to justice.
“The Police will not relent in the ongoing investigation to track down the perpetrators of this and other similar criminal incidents with a view to arresting and prosecuting them in accordance with the laws of the Land.”
He enjoined the people of Kaduna State to continue to support the Command in the current battle against criminality in the state.
Edited by Maharazu Ahmed
Police confirm release of Catholic priest abducted in Enugu
Amaraizu said that he had yet to get more details concerning Ndulue’s release by his abductors.
“I have learnt that he has been released and reunited with the church. However, I do not have more details concerning the release now,’’ the police spokesman said.
Attempts by NAN correspondent to get Rev. Fr. Benjamin Achi, Director of Social Communication of Catholic Diocese of Enugu, on phone for details of the priest’s release were not successful.
NAN recalls that Ndulue was abducted on his way home from a pastoral council meeting by unidentified gunmen along Amansiodo Road in Ndiagu-Oghe, Ezeagu Local Government Area on Friday evening.
Ndulue is the Parish Priest of St. Patrick’s Catholic Church, Ihuonyia in Amansiodo community.
The latest incident is barely two weeks after Rev. Fr. Arinze Madu, Deputy Rector, Queen of the Apostle Spiritual Year Seminary, Imezi Owa in Ezeagu Local Government Area, was released by his abductors.
Madu was kidnapped at the seminary’s gate on Oct. 29.
Edited by Dianabasi Effiong/Kayode Olaitan
Army to conduct Exercise Crocodile Smile IV in Lagos, Ogun
Maj.- Kamarudeen Adegoke, Acting Deputy Director, Army Public Relations, said in a statement that the exercise would be conducted from Nov. 19 to Dec. 23.
The Army Spokesman said that the exercise was aimed at enhancing troops operational proficiency, inter-agency cooperation and civil -military coordination.
It said that the exercise was also aimed at curbing prevalent contemporary security challenges such as kidnapping, armed robbery, cultism, ritual killing and pipeline vandalism within its area of responsibility.
The statement advised members of the public not to panic on sighting troops and movement of military equipment throughout the period of exercise.
It said that the Gov Babajide Sanwo-Olu would declare the exercise open on Tuesday.
Edited by Wale Ojetimi
Police smash armed robbery gang in Enugu
The Police Command in Enugu State has smashed a gang of notorious armed robbers that usually operates within Udi/Agbudu/Ozalla Road axis of Udi Local Government Area.
The Command’s Public Relations Officer, SP Ebere Amaraizu, said in a statement on Sunday that the gang was smashed in the early hours of Sunday along the road.
Amaraizu said that the feat was achieved by men of Operation Puff Adder of the Udi Division of the Command acting on well-gathered and coordinated intelligence information.
“It was gathered that the suspected hoodlums had allegedly blocked the road with woods and other items; and were already in their nefarious activities when police operatives ran into the road block mounted by the suspected hoodlums.
“It was further gathered that the suspected hoodlums had engaged the operatives in a gun duel but were overpowered by the operatives who later got one of them critically wounded and who was later confirmed dead.
“After the encounter, the operatives started combing the bush and later arrested three of the suspected hoodlums,’’ he said.
Amaraizu said that the state Commissioner of Police, Mr Ahmad Abdurrahman, had directed a full scale investigation into the incident.
“The suspects have been helping police operatives in their investigation so far,’’ he said.
Edited by Ismail Abdulaziz
Bayelsa/Kogi: Police Service Commission lauds officers
Mr Ikechukwu Ani, the Head of Press and Public Relations of the Commission, gave the commendation in a statement on Sunday in Abuja.
He said the commendation followed an interim report from the commission’s teams that monitored the elections.
Ani said the report indicated that the police and other security were very professional in spite of numerous challenges in the two states.
He said the monitoring teams from the commission observed over proliferation of illegal weapons, inadequate logistics and challenging terrains as militating factors in the two states.
“It was observed that the activities of illegal armed men over stretched the capacity of these officers to protect the voters and the electoral materials.
“The commission, therefore, calls on the leadership of the security agencies to immediately take steps to mop up these arms to safe guard the nation’s democracy,” he said.
He said the monitoring team also observed that the police did its best to contain the situation but noted that in several instances they were overwhelmed.
Ani said that the findings showed that the police were early at voting centres and had adequate presence in most places.
He said the team received about 31 distress calls to its advertised dedicated telephone numbers, adding that most of the complaints were on snatching of ballot boxes and indiscriminate shootings.
According to him, there are also complaints on other election malpractices such as vote buying and multiple thump printing.
Edited by Abiemwense Moru/Kayode Olaitan
Army provides free medical services to community in Ondo
The Nigerian Army on Sunday provided free medical services to people of Ugbo community in Ilaje Local Government area of Ondo State.
Brig. Gen. Zakari Abubakar, the Commander of 32 Artillery Brigade, said that the gesture was part of on-going exercise of Crocodile Smile lV in the area.
He said that the gesture was to enhance the life of the people in the area.
According to Abubakar, it is also to cement the relationship between the military and civil populace.
The Nigeria News Agency reports that Nigerian Army had earlier donated some computers, printers, exercise books, generators, stationary and sporting materials to schools at Atijere community in Ilaje Local Government area on Nov.13.
NAN also reports that the gesture was part of civil-military activities as Crocodile Smile IV flag off in the southern part of Ondo State will last from Nov.8 to Dec. 23, 2019.
Abubakar said that the medical services delivered included services at the general outpatient department for general consultation, general eye examination, health education, oral care, laboratory investigations, issuance of free mosquito nets and drugs.
He thanked the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai, and General Officer Commanding 2 Division,Ibadan, Maj. Gen. Anthony Omozoje, for they exemplary leadership and for finding the Brigade worthy of hosting the exercise and approving the civil-military activities.
“The COAS is particularly concerned about the health and well being of our community knowing fully that health is wealth. It is in this light that he has taken by his step to provide this medical outreach.
“The objective is for you to embrace peace and shun every act of violence and criminality.
“COAS believes with peace, come development. There will not be development without peace,” Abubakar said.
,Maj. James Agbe, the Commanding Officer, 32 Artillery Brigade Medical Centre, Akure, said that one of the services rendered was to teach people on how to brush.
“We also rendering free eye care handled by specialists, free toothpaste and brushes, free drugs for common ailment in the community, free mosquito net to prevent mosquito bite considering the environment in which they living as riverine area.
“Community should take the advantage of the services being provided by COAS to make maximum use of the services and drugs effectively, ” Agbe admonished.
In his welcome address, Oba Akinruntan Obateru,Olugbo of Ugbo kingdom, who was represented by the High Chief Hosea Iperepolu and Chairman of Ugbo Council of Chiefs, commended the gesture.
He said that the gesture would bring cordial relationship between the Nigerian Army and the community.
“The exercise is laudable one because we all know that health is wealth.
“This will bring cordial relationship between civilian and Nigerian Army. People are always afraid of Army, but with this new development, people will not see them as their enemy.
“When Army starts to come nearer to the people like this, people will be able to interact with them and it will reduce the rate of insurgency, kidnapping and all unnecessary crime in the societies,” he said.
Obateru charged the community to see the Nigerian Army as their friend and admonished the Army to continue with their good relationship so that people would not see them as their enemy.
The monarch promised Nigerian Army that Ugbo kingdom would continue to support and cooperate with them so that the issue of kidnapping, pipeline vandalism and many other crimes would reduce in the area.
One of the participants, Mr Akin Adetuo, a 60-year-old farmer with eye problem, thanked the Nigerian Army for the gesture.
“I am here with my eye problem so that I can see very well, but with the service rendered by Army today am very happy. May Almighty God help them as they choose to help us,” he said.
Mr Maigba Israel, who said that he came from the neighboring town near Ugbo kingdom for stomach ache and eye problem, urged the Nigerian Army to continue to support civilians, especially on health related issues.
“I am not from Ugbo kingdom, but I am from Ugbo-Nla town.
“I believe this services will go a long way for our people, especially for me because I don’t have money to go to hospital that is why when I heard that Nigerian Army is giving free eye service, I left my food to benefit from the services,” he said.
Edited by Tajudeen Atitebi
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