Cross River State Government

Worried by the state of insecurity arising from incessant kidnapping incidents, in Cross River State, the state’s branch of Nigeria Medical Association (NMA) has called on Governor Ben Ayade to immediately declare a state of emergency in the state.

The call was contained in a communiqué jointly signed by the state Chairman of NMA, Dr. Effiong Mkpanam and the Secretary, Dr. Ikechukwu Ukweh, as issued to newsmen, on Tuesday, in Calabar.

The NMA had, last week, threatened to shut down hospitals and withdrew their services over the kidnap of one of their members, Dr. Usang Ekanem.

Dr. Ekanem was kidnapped on December 26, 2017 by unknown gunmen and released at the early hours of Jan. 7, 2018.

The call, which was contained in the communiqué, expressed dissatisfaction with the incessant kidnapped attacks on its members in the state, explaining that five of its members and three of their family members were kidnapped in 2017.

The association, which has called off its intended withdrawal of its services following the release of one of its kidnapped members, said: “It is noteworthy that in 2017 within the state capital alone, five doctors and three of their family members were kidnapped at various locations.

“We have noticed with utter dismay and drawn attention of the authorities to an upsurge in the cases of targeted kidnapping of medical practitioners.

“We have also observed with dismay, a dangerous trend in which the security and lives of doctors is being threatened by some disgruntle members of the society, while the state authorities and security agencies stand aloof and complacent at the very least.

“We wish to remind the state government that it is her duty to provide adequate security for its citizens. The state government should as a matter of urgency, declare a state of emergency on security in Cross River.

The association warned that henceforth, it will withdraw all medical services without any notice anytime a doctor or dependants are taken captive in future.

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