On Tuesday, the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) marched to the Cross River House of Assembly to protest against the kidnap of a doctor, Ekanem Ephraim.
The doctors, who came out in their numbers, wielded placards with inscriptions such as ‘Set Cross River Free From The Stranglehold of Kidnappers’ and ‘Make Cross River Safe Again’.
Mr Ephraim was kidnapped from her residence on July 13 by armed men disguised as patients.
Speaking at the assembly complex, Felix Archibong, NMA chair in Cross River, said the situation of doctors in the state has got to the point where they were afraid of going about their daily activities.
Mr Archibong said doctors in the state now watched their backs at all times for fear of being abducted.
“We are tired of coming out to protest every time that our member is kidnapped, and after it is sorted out, another doctor is targeted and picked,” explained Mr Archibong. “We have given the state government enough time; we have been patient, and today is the 19th day, and our member is still in the kidnappers’ den.”
The NMA chair added, “Is it a crime that doctors decided to serve in Cross River? Do they want us to leave the state? In the last few years, doctors have been targets of kidnappers, and we need something drastic to be done.”
Responding, the parliament speaker Elvert Ayambem appealed to the doctors to be calm.
Mr Ayambem said it was sad the doctor’s kidnap occurred when criminal elements were granted amnesty to enable them to turn a new leaf.
He said if the criminals did not turn a new leaf after six months, they would feel the law’s full impact.
“I am speaking as the head of the legislature in the state. Let us hear from the governor, who is the head of the executive because there is a limit to what I can do from my position,” the lawmaker stated.