By Steve Oko
UMUAHIA—Doctors in Abia State have announced withdrawal of their services in both public and private hospitals to register their displeasure over the kidnap and continued detention of their colleague, Professor Uwadinachi Iweha.
Professor Iweha was kidnapped on Sunday 6th June, 2022, around 4:00pm, in front of his house at Umuokpara in Umuahia South Local Government Area.
The doctors had during their earlier protest last Friday, threatened to down tools if after 47 hours their kidnapped colleague was not released.
Declaring the decision of the doctors yesterday after a rally and prayer session at the car park of the Federal Medical Centre Umuahia, the Chairman of the Nigeria Medical Association, NMA, Abia State, Dr Chimezie Okwuonu, said the action was to alert the world that the safety of doctors in the state was no longer guaranteed.
NMA argued that there was no way doctors would continue to provide maximum services amid uncertainties over the safety of their members who are always on duty to serve humanity.
Reading from a prepared speech he co-signed with the Secretary of the body, Dr Robinson Ugwuanyi, the NMA Chairman said:” As an Association deeply involved in the welfare of Medical Doctors in Abia State, we are worried that 9 days down the line, Prof Uwadinachi Iweha is still within the kidnappers den. This is traumatic, depressing, dehumanising and has instilled a lot of fear within the medical community whose primary objective is to save the life of Abians from the medical point of view.
“The Nigerian Medical Association Abia State hereby condemns the kidnap of its member and calls on the Abia State Government and security apparatus to do all that is necessary to secure his release.
“Our earnest prayer is that his health condition does not deteriorate further and he comes back alive to us and his family.
“The recent spate of kidnap with its attendant consequences on the morale of its citizens has the capability of eroding the achievement we have made, as a state, in the area of security.
“Medical Doctors work all round the clock. This includes normal duties, surgeries, clinical calls, emergencies and administrative duties. The nature and scope of our work involves being on the road any time you are called, as more than 95% of Doctors reside outside their place of work.
“With the current state of fear caused by the kidnap and detention of our colleague, safety cannot be guaranteed and it will be difficult to attend to duties as normal as no one knows who will be the next victim.”
Arising from its meeting on Friday 10th June 2022, the NMA Abia State Branch took a peaceful protest to the Government House where it registered its displeasure at the kidnap of its senior medical colleague.