The Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) in Cross River has threatened to withdraw medical services from the state over incessant kidnapping of its members.
NMA issued the threat in a communique jointly signed by the association’s Chairman, Dr Agam Ayuk, and the Secretary, Dr Ezoke Epoke, after its emergency general meeting on Tuesday in Calabar.
The association said that the decision to withdraw its services became necessary due to increasing cases of kidnapping on its members in the state.
It recalled that the wife of one of its members was kidnapped on Aug. 15 and released the following day.
It stated: “The recent kidnap of the spouse of a medical doctor is the second incident of doctors’ targeted kidnap in Cross River in the past one month.
“It is noteworthy that in the last 18 months, within Calabar alone, five doctors and five dependents/family members have been kidnapped at various times and locations.
“The release of affected victims has been conditional including payment of ransom in most instances. This has caused great psychological, emotional and financial distress to the affected families.
“NMA in Cross River wishes to reiterate that we shall withdraw all medical services without any notice, anytime a doctor or dependent is kidnapped.
“Medical doctors cannot continue to save lives while their very lives and those of their dependents remain under constant threat by criminals.”
The association said that henceforth, it would demand refunds from the state government for any conditional release anytime a doctor or dependents was kidnapped.
The association further said that the resolution became imperative due to the devastating financial condition hardworking doctors found themselves due kidnap incidents.
“We wish to remind the state government that it is her duty to provide adequate security for the citizenry at all times.
“The NMA in Cross River remains fully committed to partnering with the state government in providing quality healthcare services to the general populace.
“We therefore, implore the Cross River government to double her efforts in stemming this new surge of kidnapping in the state,’’ it said.
The association however, thanked the state governor, Prof. Ben Ayade and security agencies in the state for their concerted efforts towards ensuring the safe release of the abducted wife of their member.