About 18 members of the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA), Cross River State branch were kidnapped between 2019 and 2020.
The chairman of the association, Dr Innocent Abang, disclosed this while reviewing the activity of the Association to DAILY POST via phone on Monday.
“I can’t really recall how many doctors were kidnapped in 2020 alone but between 2019 and 2020 we had about 18 doctors and their relatives kidnapped.
“Though we had several unpleasant moments where we had to mourn because of the kidnappings and deaths of our members, we still had great times to praise God for.
“This dastardly act led to psychological trauma in many, one doctor, died in less than six months following the kidnap, another left her specialist training program, others have had to abandon their homes and several others with very unspeakable traumatic experiences.
The Chairman regretted that in most of them, huge ransoms were paid except the last where our colleagues were rescued from the abductors safely and unconditionally released, we applaud the government and the special rescue team for that.
“Why doctors have been the target of kidnapping in Cross River State can only be answered from an angle of guessing because only the kidnappers have the answer to that question.
“But we think it is because Cross River State is largely dominated by civil servants who are poorly remunerated with doctors, on the other hand, appearing to have relatively a better salary which is demonstrated in the cars they drive from loans obtained from cooperative and banks”
“The other group of persons who have better financial muscles like the businessmen and politicians have left or are leaving the state because of the insecurity leaving the doctors who initially stayed back because of the peculiarity of their work.
“However, that’s no longer the case because doctors are also leaving in their numbers seeking better conditions of service and more secured future and environments, hence the massive migration to the US and UK.
“Nigerian government had better stem this tide as many are preparing to move by early next because of poor facilities in our hospitals, lip services paid to provision of PPE even during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The federal government has a lot to do to assist the state in handling COVID-19 while the state still has a lot to do to ensure we reduce the rising numbers of positive cases” the Chairman stated.
He said, “For now, the hijack of ENDSARS affected the testing centres in Cross River State leaving only UCTH, isolations centres and waiting bays are needed in the state for effective and result-oriented management of the COVID-19 cases.”