By Simon Ebegbulem
BENIN—THE Nigerian Medical Association, NMA, in Edo State, yesterday, petitioned President Goodluck Jonathan over what it described as the persistent kidnapping of its members and general insecurity in the state.
In the petition by the state Chairman of the association, Dr Philip Ugbodaga and Secretary, Dr Emmanuel Ighodaro, the association attributed the poor security situation in the country to the insensitivity of previous administrations and urged the Federal Government to come to the aid of the people of the state.
While appealing to the Federal Government to strengthen the security situation in the state by also redeploying heads of security apparatus in the state just as it did at the federal level, the association said “kidnapping which started like a child’s play a few years ago in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, has since assumed a life of its own and had defied all solutions. It has now gone beyond a remote trend to become a constant part of our existence.
“As doctors, we are extremely worried that we now practice our profession in an atmosphere of fear, anxiety and insecurity. In the past couple of months, at least 18 medical and dental doctors have been abducted in Edo State, creating fear and anxiety in the minds of doctors practicing in the state. Clearly, Edo State now tops in the despicable crime of kidnapping of doctors,” it said.
It further regretted that doctors are now scared to respond to emergency calls due to fear of being kidnapped and called for the convocation of a national conference on kidnapping to find lasting solution to the problem.
“The sweeping changes in the top echelon of the nation’s security apparatus you undertook recently should be immediately extended to the security establishment in all states of the federation and especially Edo state. There is a need to restructure Nigeria to accommodate state and community policing. The security agencies should stop kidnapping now.
“We believe they are capable of doing it if they are ready to work. The general feeling of the people now is not whether it will happen but when, where and who the next target would be.
The effect of kidnapping on our state is too enormous as it scares away potential investors and robs our state of the benefit of developmen opportunities. It clearly appears to us that the only safe place to live in Nigeria is Aso Rock. We therefore urge you to deploy the same security arrangement in the villa to the rest of Nigeria. That is the only way we can be assured that you are truly working in the interest of the people of this country” the petition stated.