The Nigeria Medical Association (NMA) has confirmed the escape of an abducted resident doctor, Dr Orockarrah Orock attached to the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital (UNTH), Ituku-Ozalla, Enugu State.
It was learnt that Orock attached to the Anesthesia Department of UNTH, was on Saturday night kidnapped within the hospital premises while on call duty.
The Chairman of NMA, Enugu State Chapter, Dr Celestine Ugwoke, who confirmed this to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), on Monday, said Orock miraculously made his escape after the kidnappers felt satisfied with the offer to pay the ransom demanded by his wife and gone to have “nice time with their weeds and spirits and fell into deep sleep”.
He said the abducted doctor gradually crawled away from the spot he was kept in the kidnappers’ den and later trekked and ran a distance before sighting human activities and then came out near the Four Corner Junction of Enugu-Port Harcourt Expressway.
“He called his wife and the wife called the UNTH chief security officer who picked him up that midnight of Saturday. We are profoundly grateful to God for his miraculous escape,” he said.
The Chairman, however, said that doctors had become endangered professionals in the state, as kidnappers always target them, especially those working in tertiary health institutions in the state.
“We are really in trouble as doctors are now their target and we are living in fear as the kidnappers now chase us as if they are chasing rats,” he said.
The Chairman threatened that any more abduction of doctors in UNTH, doctors in the teaching hospital would totally down tools, adding that this warning would be extended to other tertiary hospitals in the state.
Ugwoke said the association would be meeting with the Chief Medical Director (CMD) of UNTH to demand a release of the security protocol for the hospital to ensure the safety of all doctors, management staff and patients in the hospital.
“We also want the hospital management to beef up security within the hospital, ensure adequate perimeter fencing of the entire hospital and installation of Close Circuit Television Camera (CCTV) and its monitoring base within the hospital.
“As an association, we have previously met the state’s Commissioner for Health and the Commissioner of Police on the spate of insecurity our members face even in the discharge of their life-saving professional duties.
“All efforts through official letters and other means to pay a courtesy call on Gov. Peter Mbah and intimate him on the vital issue of doctors’ security in the state had proved abortive.
“Maybe, the government wants doctors to leave their duty posts and carry placards to the Enugu Government House before listening to us. This will be very bad if allowed to drag to this point,” he said.
Efforts made to get the Spokesperson for Enugu State Police Command, DSP Daniel Ndukwe, to speak on the matter proved abortive as he did not pick several calls made to his cellphone.