By Chidi Nkwopara
OWERRI—Fear has gripped top civil servants in Imo State, following the kidnap of a Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health, Dr. Johnny Ihebereme, by a gang of hoodlums.
According to his colleagues in the Ministry of Health, Dr. Ihebereme, a renowned Obstetrician and Gynaecologist, was last seen sometime last week.
Some of his colleagues, who spoke on strict grounds of anonymity, told Vanguard that Ihebereme, a native of Ahiazu Mbaise, had a flourishing private hospital located along Ajoku Street, Owerri.
One said: “We were told that our very friendly Permanent Secretary was abducted in front of his private hospital. We have neither heard from him nor seen him since.”
The staff affirmed that palpable fear had now gripped most workers in the state, over the rising cases of serious crimes targeted at hapless workers.
The staff of the ministry added: “The kidnap of Dr. Ihebereme has again brought to the fore, the unresolved abduction of the Permanent Secretary in the Deputy Governor’s Office, Mr. Emenike Ihekwoaba, three years ago.”
He lamented that the periodic kidnap and assassination of civil servants in the state was getting out of hand and gave a litany of names of victims.
When the Police Public Relations Officer, Mr. Andrew Enwerem, a Deputy Superintendent of Police, was contacted for his comment, he said: “No such matter has been incidented in any Police Station.”