By Simon Ebegbulem
BENIN CITY — ACTIVITIES at the Federal Psychiatric Hospital Uselu, Benin City, and its environs were grounded, yesterday, when workers of the hospital protested the abduction of the Chief Medical Director, CMD, of the hospital, Dr. Olabisi Ihenyen and her husband, Dr. Lionel Ihenyen.
The couple were kidnapped at Mile 18, around Ekiadolor area and their abductors are said to be demanding N16 million. Meantime, former Deputy Governor of Edo State, Reverend Peter Obadan, yesterday, urged the suspected kidnappers to free the Ihenyens, saying that “the humanitarian work which they do is greater than what they are demanding.”
However, the placard carrying protesters blocked the entire Uselu and Medical Store Roads, which caused traffic for several hours.
They called for the unconditional release of their boss and the husband, threatening to release their patients if the duo were not freed soon.
It was observed that relative of patients who came to feed their relations who were on admission were turned back. Leader of the protest and Consultant Psychiatrist with the hospital and former Vice Chairman of the state chapter of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), Dr Ambrose Lawani lamented that men of the medical profession had become targets of incessant kidnappings in the state and called on the government and security agencies to act quickly.
He warned that they may be forced to carry out their threat of discharging all patients in the hospital if their boss was not released. “We still feel that nothing has been done despite the police claims that they are working. Since August 2009 when NMA campaigned for more efforts on security, nothing has been done. We are now under siege since it seems we are their targets, they are beginning to make doctors exercise restraints when they are called for emergencies” he said.
Meanwhile, a former commissioner for Education and Lands, Housing and survey under the administration of former the Lucky Igbinedion and an aspirant to the National Assembly, Mrs Lucy Omagbo has been reportedly abducted.Her abductors are said to be demanding for N6 million.She was said to have been trailed to her residence in Etete, GRA at about 7 pm on Sunday where the suspected kidnappers whisked her away.