…Bandits kidnap women in Oyo
…Hunters await govt’s approval to rescue victims
…NURTW commences e-tracking of vehicles
By Ola Ajayi, Shina Abubakar & James Ogunnaike
The high-level insecurity in the country, which has culminated in the spate of kidnappings in Ogun State, has compelled health workers in the state, under the aegis of the National Association of Nigerian Nurses and Midwives, NANNM, and Nigerian Medical Association, NMA, to withdraw their services from public health institutions.
This came on a day some bandits, yesterday, abducted three women at Onipe community in Idi Ayunre area of Ibadan, Oyo State.
But as a way of ensuring safety on highways in the South-West, President of the National Union of Road Transport Workers, NURTW, Tajudeen Baruwa, stated that the union has embarked on electronic tracking of its cars.
Doctors, nurses declare strike over insecurity in Ogun
While the chairman of the NANNM, Roseline Solarin, affirmed the strike-through a communiqué, the NMA Chairman in the state, Dr. Oladayo Ogunlaja, confirmed the strike in an interview.
It would be recalled that Ogun State had, in recent times, been hit by frequent kidnap of doctors and nurses, as well as other residents of the state.
In the communiqué issued by the NANNM, dated April 12 and addressed to the Commissioner for Health in the state, Dr. Tomi Coker, the nurses condemned the lackadaisical attitude of the government towards the release of their colleagues.
In the communiqué titled: ‘Notification of withdrawal of services, the health workers described the approach adopted by the government as appalling.
Ogunlaja said the strike was a joint resolution between the NMA and NANNM, saying they were going ahead with the strike, despite the release of their abducted colleagues until the government did the needful.
He said: “There is a lot of security challenges in the state now. I want the state government to address them before we go back to work.
“The government should make where we work a safe place so that we can work without any fear. The state is now becoming unsafe for everybody living here.
“We want the government to do the needful so that we will know that we are secured.”
We’re not aware of any strike—Ogun govt
When contacted, the Commissioner for Health, Dr. Tomi Coker said she was not aware of any strike.
She said: “I have not been informed that they are going on strike. Let them inform me; when they inform me, I will know the next thing to do.”
Bandits kidnap women in Oyo, Ibadan
Meanwhile, Vanguard gathered that hoodlums, who reportedly hid in the bush emerged and started shooting to scare people away.
While the shooting was on, the bandits were said to have held the three women, hostage, before leading them into the bush in the area.
One of the kidnapped victims was said to have been forced out of a Toyota SUV, marked AGL 66 FY.
Two men, who reported the case at a police station in Idi Ayunre, disclosed names of the victims as Mrs. Okeowo, Mrs. Abosede Adebayo and Mrs. Bola Ogunrinde.
Though the victims are yet to be rescued, Vanguard gathered that a team of policemen from Idi Ayunre Divisional Police station, hunters and local vigilante groups had been combing nooks and crannies of the area.
The new Police Public Relations Officer in the state, DSP Adewale Osifeso, who confirmed the story, said other tactical teams had joined the security agents on the trail of the hoodlums.
Hunters await govt’s approval to rescue victims
Also confirming the story, the National President of Soludero Hunters Association of Nigeria, Oba Nureni Anabi, said he and his men were awaiting directives from Oyo State government to go for such an operation.
Anabi said: “Yes, we heard and a security officer with the state government promised to get in touch with us but we have been trying to call him.
“We need to be mobilized. First, the forest where the kidnappers took their victims is owned by the government. Also, we don’t have money to spend. All the achievements recorded so far were possible because of the help we got from Ilaji Farms.
“As we are now, we are stuck. If we need to enter the bush for the rescue operation, the men would need to be encouraged. We can’t do so without the needed help from the government.”
NURTW to commence e-tracking of vehicles
Meanwhile, the president of the NURTW, Tajudeen Baruwa, disclosed yesterday that the union has embarked on electronic tracking of its cars.
Addressing journalists in Osogbo after its National Executive Council meeting, Baruwa, who was flanked by the Deputy President and General Secretary, said the decision was in response to the spate of crime on highways, especially the kidnapping of drivers and passengers.
His words: “We admonish our members to be security conscious, the issue of insecurity is worrisome. Many of our members have been kidnapped across the country. We have lost many of them to the menace of insecurity and without compensation to their families from the government.
“So we need to be careful and vigilant when we are on the steering. The E-tracking policy will help the safety of passengers and our members after we put it to use.”
He also condemned the decision of some state governments, especially in the South-West, to proscribe the union, urging the affected state governments to rescind the decision or push the union to seek redress in court.
He said: “We kick against the decision of some state governments like Oyo, Ogun and Ondo states in proscribing our union. It is unlawful. We are an independent union like NUT, TUC which are under the Nigeria Labour Congress.
‘’We appeal to the government to reverse the decision and not use politics to ruin our union. The issue must be resolved, else we will go to court to enforce our rights.”