19 days counting, NMA protests colleague’s kidnap in Calabar
The Nigeria Medical Association (NMA), Cross River chapter is protesting over the kidnap of it colleague, Prof. Ekanem Philip Ephraim who has been in captivity for the past 19 days.
She was kidnapped by unknown gunmen on July, 13, 2023 at her Clinic along Mountain of Fire and Miracle Ministries by Atimbo, in Calabar while attending to a patient.
Following this, NMA has down tool in federal, state and private hospitals across the state to protest for her release.
Staging a peaceful protest despite the heavy down pour yesterday in Calabar, the aggrieved doctors took off from the General Hospital at Mary Slessor to the State House of Assembly, along Hope Waddell Avenue carrying placards with different inscriptions such as; “set Cross River State free from stranglehold of kidnapers, Free all persons held captive by kidnappers”, ” make Cross River safe again, ensure Cross River is delisted from the united states’ travel advisory” “Cross River State cannot remain a ghost town.”
Leading the Protest, the NMA Chairman, Dr. Felix Archibong, told The Guardian that the protest was to remind the state governor and the Cross River State House of Assembly that doctors have been sick since the kidnapped of their colleague, to that effect, they cannot treat patients.
He called for security action for unconditional release of their colleague and others who have been in captive.
He lamented, “We are embarking on this protest to call on the Governor Bassey Otu and the security agents to do their constitutional right which is to protect lives and properties of the citizens.
It has been on the news, this is the 19th day that a female doctor and colleague – Professor Phillip-Ephriam was kidnapped; we reached out to the Governor and the security agencies but up to 19 days now, we have not heard from the Government; to us they are not working even if they are working. We want them to do something because we believe they can and it is possible.
“We are pressing on because we have States like Akwa Ibom and Rivers where kidnapping was heat of the day and today we no longer hear such and we believe it took political will to curb that meanace. That is why we are crying out. Though it is raining but it can not stop us because we are aggrieved.
“Mentally we are not stable; for 19 days it is not easy, someone of us can’t sleep; we are wondering for a woman to be in the hands of kidnappers and the Government is quite is worrisome.
“We can not work, to treat human being needs stable mind and we can not pretend. This is the 14th Doctors that has been kidnapped in Cross River State. We are planning that after today’s protest every morning we will go to Government House to continue to cry until our colleague is released.
“Cross Riverians should show us they appreciate our services, we are taking the pains to protest. This is not time for Cross Riverians to blame us for withdrawing services, these kidnappers lives among them, what have they done; they should join force and push. Every Doctor in Cross River State at the moment is sick, we need help.” The Dr. Archibong lamented.
Addressing the aggrieved doctors, the Speaker, State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Elvert Ayambem told the NMA that they feel their pains. He said the house have aggreed to support the state government for the safe release of Prof. Philip-Ephraim
He also assured the protesting doctors that the house would make laws with severed punishment against kidnaping in the state.
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