By IHECHINYERE CHIGEMERI-UWOM
UMUAHIA- Medical Doctors in Abia, under the aegis of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), on Tuesday, began an indefinite strike to protest against the abduction of their colleague, Prof. Uwadinachi Iweha.
The body announced its decision to withdraw its services at a rally and prayer session held at the Federal Medical Centre, Umuahia.
The Chairman of the association, Dr Chimezie Okwuonu, told newsmen that Iweha was abducted by unknown gunmen on Sunday, June 6, in front of his house at Umuajameze Ezeleke Umuokpara in Umuahia South Local Government Area.
Okwuonu said that the victim was taken away with his Toyota Highlander and that they had neither seen nor heard from him since then.
He said that the association was deeply worried by his continued detention by his assailants, hence their prayer for God’s intervention.
“As an association, we contacted the relevant security agencies and Government of Abia and until today, Tuesday, we have yet to hear from our colleague or see him.
“We are worried that nine days down the line, Iweha is still within the kidnappers’ den.
“This is traumatic, depressing, dehumanising and has instilled a lot of fear within the medical community.
“Our earnest prayer is that his health condition does not deteriorate further and he comes back alive to us and his family,” Okwuonu said.
The association, therefore, condemned the kidnap and called on Abia Government and security agencies to take necessary measures to secure Iweha’s release.
It argued that the recent spate of kidnapping in the state, perceived as one of the most peaceful states in Nigeria, had eroded the achievements made in the area of security.
It further said: “With the current state of fear caused by the kidnap and detention of our colleague, safety cannot be guaranteed.
“Also, it will be difficult to attend to duties as normal because no one knows who will be the next victim.
“Today, Tuesday, June 14, the NMA Abia has commenced a withdrawal of services in both public and private sectors to register its deep displeasure at this unfortunate incident.
“This is to give its members time to join the family in searching for its member.
“However, emergency services are still going on to enable our members to attend to critical patients.”
The association appealed to any member of the public with useful information about the whereabouts of the victim to report the same to the nearest police station.
It described Iweha as elderly, fair in complexion, about 5ft 2inch tall and last seen on white chieftaincy top on grey trousers.
It thanked the President of the NMA, Dr Uche Ojinmah, and members of the National Officers Committee for identifying with Abia over the unfortunate incident.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the victim is a former Chief Medical Director, Abia State University Teaching Hospital, Aba and Abia Specialist Hospital and Diagnostic Centre, Umuahia.
He is presently the Provost, Gregory University College of Medicine, Umuahia Campus. (NAN)
By IHECHINYERE CHIGEMERI-UWOM