Medical Doctors in all health facilities in Cross River State on Tuesday staged a peaceful protest over the abduction of their colleagues, Dr Vivian Otu.
Dr Otu, a paediatrician and a staff of the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital (UCTH) was kidnapped by gunmen on Friday at Marian Road in Calabar Municipal local government area of Cross River State.
The Chairman of the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA) Cross River, Dr Innocent Abang said at the governor’s office in Calabar that the doctors fear that they have now become endangered species.
“We have come to present our grievances to the governor because of the incessant kidnap of our colleagues.
“We pay tax in this state and we are protecting lives and saving lives. So we want to tell the government to please protect our land and give us the privilege to save lives. The State Security Adviser, who is standing in for the Governor who is not around, should brief us how far they have gone to ensure that our colleague is safe and will be released today.
“We don’t want it beyond today. We want Cross River State to be safe from kidnapping. Other states had it this way and they are doing well now. We can also do well” the Chairman stated.
Also speaking, the Chairman of the Medical Women Association of Nigeria, Cross River State chapter, Dr. Bassey Nakanda said she was sad, heartbroken and suffered depression when she heard about the kidnap of their member.
“I feel bad. I cannot imagine what has happened to my sister for four days. This is the fifth day she has been incarcerated. A woman! I am heartbroken. I have cried myself out all the medical women are heartbroken, we have cried.
“But, honestly we need her out. You need to go to her house and see the children crying asking for their mother. She has been caring for other people’s children; she is a paediatrician.
“This is a doctor that would stand on her feet and make sure other people’s children survive; this is a doctor that would pull out her money to buy drugs for helpless children, today that is the reward she gets for saving lives in Cross River State. The reward is for her to be kidnapped and tormented” she lamented.
Responding on behalf of the Governor, the Special Adviser on Security, South, Ani Esin said, “We are aware of your plight. On Friday we received a distress call about your colleague who was kidnapped that evening and we quickly swung into action.
“It is an unfortunate situation that we see. Once again a doctor has been kidnapped. It is something we try to avoid. But it has happened. So what we have to do now is to make sure that this doctor, Mrs Otu, is released with immediate effect without any charge.
We have been working round the clock since this happened and right now I can say that we are on top of this situation. We have all the information as to the location and what is happening that we are close to your colleague but I can assure you that just as you have said, she must be released.
“We stand by you on this. We are going to do everything in our ability to make sure that she is returned to you safe, sound and hearty. The governor is also aware of it and has given us the marching mandate that nobody sleeps until Mrs Otu is returned to her colleagues” he stated.