Doctor kidnapped; NMA calls off 40-day strike in C'River

Doctor kidnapped; NMA calls off 40-day strike in C'River

The Nigerian Medical Association, NMA, Cross River State branch has suspended the 40-day-old strike it embarked upon to demand the unconditional release of their colleague, Prof. Ekanem Ephraim.

Recall that Vanguard had earlier reported the kidnap of Prof. Ekanem who was whisked away by unidentified gunmen to an unknown destination from her facility at Mountain of Fire, by Atimbo road, Calabar Municipality LGA of the state on July 13, 2023.

Briefing newsmen on Saturday in Calabar, the Chairman of NMA, Cross River state, Dr Felix Archibong said the decision to suspend their industrial action was reached at an emergency meeting earlier today (yesterday).

Dr Archibong said they were not insensitive to the plight of CrossRiverians but also mindful of the fact that medical doctors are also human beings with families and as such must not be molested or dehumanized by kidnappers.

His words: “Arising from an emergency meeting from our secretariat today, following an appeal letter from the governor of the state, Sen Bassey Otu, the Congress decided to suspend the strike for two weeks.

“We also heed the advice of our National President to give government soft landing, hence the decision to suspend the strike, we have given the government two weeks to get back our colleague alive.

“If any of our member is kidnapped within this period we won’t hesitate going back to continue the industrial action, but we want to give government benefit of doubt based on the appeal of the governor and the assurance he has given us that she is still alive and will regain her freedom.

“We are also aware that a Five million naira bounty has been placed by Cross River state government which will be given to anyone with useful information to apprehending those behind her kidnap and eventual release of Prof. Ekanem Ephraim.

“We are not calling off the industrial action, we only suspended it because according to the governor a lot of CrossRiverians are suffering and many are dying.

“As an association, we are not aware because we have not been going to our offices since the strike was declared, we only want to allow government fulfil the promise it has made and we have started seeing positive steps as security presence has increased in the metropolis.

“We are also appealing to those behind her abduction, to please release her, we are not trying to flex muscles with anyone, but all we ask for is the release of our colleague back to us alive, ” he said.

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