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Gunmen early on Sunday released Dr Usang Ekanem, a medical practitioner with the Cross River College of Education Medical Centre, Akamkpa, Cross River State, kidnapped on Dec. 26, 2017

Dr Effiong Mkpanam, the state Chairman of Nigeria Medical Association (NMA) told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Calabar that Ekanem was released in the early hours of Sunday in Akamkpa.

Mkpanam, who expressed joy over the release said a traumatised Dr Ekanem, was released safely to his family on Sunday morning.

“As we speak right now, our colleague has been released; it is breaking news to us. I have seen him and the wife and we bless God that he has re-united with his family.

“At the moment, he is highly traumatised, but we are grateful to God for his safe release,’’he said.

NAN recalls that the NMA at a news conference on Friday in Calabar threatened an indefinite withdrawal of medical services from public, private, mission, and institutional hospitals in the state from Jan. 8 over the kidnapped doctor.

Mkpanam had expressed dissatisfaction with the rate of doctors kidnapped in the state, noting that five doctors and three of their family members were kidnapped in 2017 by gunmen.

He further said that any time a medical doctor is kidnapped in the state; the NMA would embark on an indefinite withdrawal of medical services without notice.

He told NAN that the association will meet on Monday, Jan. 8 to dialogue and suspend the planned action.

He, however, would not disclose if the doctor was released on the payment of ransom.

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