By Gabriel Enogholase
BENINâ€”Members of the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA) Edo State chapter Tuesday in Benin abandoned their stethoscopes and patients, took to the streets to protest the incessant kidnap of its members by unknown persons.
The NMA members led by the state chairman of the body Dr. Osahon Enabulele took their protest first to the Palace of the Oba of Benin where they called on the state government to declare a state of emergency on security.
Besides, they want the state government to consider urgently the need to convoke a town hall or stake holders meetings on security in the state with a view to generating ideas on how to stem kidnappings and other acts of criminality.
Saying that precious lives were no longer safe in the state, the NMA Chairman said that members of the association needed a peaceful environment to operate just as he disclosed that five of its members were recently kidnapped while a sixth escaped with bullets injuries.
The Physicians who carried placards with inscriptions, â€œinjury done to one, injury done to allâ€, Save our souls and who protects the care -giversâ€, among others appealed to the state government to act now before the kidnapping extend to other sectors in the state.
A Palace Chief and former Secretary to the Oba, Chief Stanley Obamwonyi who received the protesting medial doctors on behalf of the Benin Monarch, said that the Palace was worried over the increased spate of kidnappings in the state and advised that the matter would be put into prayers.
They later marched in procession to the Governorâ€™â€™s Office and raised alarm that incessant cases of kidnap of Medical and Dental practitioners as well as other core investors was resulting in loss of jobs in the state, as medical and business men were relocating from Edo state.
Appealing to the state government to beef up security in the state, the medical practitioners urged the government to consider the possibility of increasing the N1million reward pledged to be given to anybody with useful information leading to the arrest of kidnappers.
They also called for special prayer sessions to be organized weekly in churches and mosque as well as the traditional institutions against the unholy act of kidnappings in the state.