The Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), has alerted the Federal Government over the incessant kidnap of its members, particularly in the South Eastern and South Western parts of the country.
The President of the association, Dr Omede Idris, told newsmen in Abuja that the development had become worrisome in view of the fact that “doctors have suddenly become targets of kidnappers”.
Our correspondent reports that recently, an eight-month pregnant medical practitioner, Dr Chidinma Okwor, was abducted by suspected kidnappers and released after more than 10 days in custody of her abductors in Enugu State.
Okwor, a mother of four and a senior registrar, Department of Radiology Medicine, University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, UNTH, Ituku-Ozalla, was whisked away by unknown persons in front of her residence on Nike Road.
Idris said kidnapping of doctors had become a common phenomenon in Edo, Cross Rivers, Abia, Rivers, Anambra and Enugu States.
“We have several cases of doctors being kidnapped in some of these states.
“Why doctors are targets of kidnap in Nigeria, particularly in the South- East and South -West zones beats our wildest imagination.”
He noted with regret that while the association had reported several cases of kidnap involving its members to the
security agencies, not much had been achieved by the authorities in curbing the trend.
“The NMA cannot really do much beyond the confines of the security system in the country.”
Idris said the association had no magic wand or the capacity to protect its members, beyond advising them to always take necessary security precautions.
He also advised Nigerians and various communities in the country to be security conscious.
“Neighbourhood watch can help the various security agencies by providing them with useful information on the activities criminals in their areas.”
He advised government at all levels to take the issue of security of lives and property as a matter of serious concern.