The Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), Cross River State Chapter, on Monday November 21, 2022 launched an indefinite strike for the kidnapping of its members
The victims, Dr. Joshua Omini, a staff member of Ugep Community General Hospital, Yakurr Local Government Area of the State, and Dr. Ekpo Egong of Calabar General Hospital, were abducted on Friday November 18. along the Calabar-Ikom Highway, Okomita-Uyanga (Akamkpa) axis in the state.
LIB had previously reported that the kidnappers had contacted the families of the doctors and demanded 100 million naira for their release.
The NMA announced the strike in a statement jointly signed by its state chairman, Dr. Felix Archibong, and secretary, Dr. Amaku Asuquo, after an emergency meeting in Calabar, the state capital, on Monday.
The statement said the doctors were removed on the Ekomita-Uyanga axis of the Calabar-Ikom highway.
The association said its members have observed with dismay the lack of security personnel, patrols or checkpoints on the said stretch of road despite a previous case of kidnapping reported on November 15.
“Members observed the deplorable condition of the road, especially from Okomita to Uyanga, all in Akamkpa Local Government Area,” the statement said.
“This deplorable state of the road causes the movement of vehicles in this area to proceed at a minimum speed, thus providing an advantage to these criminal elements to perpetuate their evil intentions.
“The NMA in Cross River State has embarked on an indefinite strike from Monday, November 21, 2022, in solidarity with its members still in the hands of their captors.
“The government should activate all necessary instruments at its disposal to ensure the speedy and unconditional release of our members from the hands of their captors.
“The state government should urgently set up security checkpoints and patrol vehicles in vulnerable areas of the road,” the body said.
The NMA has also called on the state government to urgently carry out repairs to the affected section of the road which slows vehicular traffic and invites easy attacks by thugs and kidnappers.
The association has urged the state’s Governor Ben Ayade to activate all necessary mechanisms to ensure that the threat of kidnapping is nipped in the bud before the Christmas season.
“The NMA of Cross River is not oblivious to the hardships its strike will have on the brave people of Cross River.
“However, we call on all relevant security agencies to ensure the speedy release of our abducted colleagues,” the association said.