A doctor, Oladunni Odetola, and a nurse, identified as Bamgbose, who were kidnapped in Ogun State have been released, but doctors and nurses are proceeding on a strike to protest the government’s poor handling of the abduction.
Odetola, who is the head of General Hospital, Imeko, Imeko-Afon Local Government Area, alongside the nurse was kidnapped on Wednesday last week on Abeokuta – Imeko road.
Our correspondent gathered that the gunmen had emerged from the bush at Olubo village to attack their targets.
Their abductors subsequently demanded N20m ransom, a development which led to fund raising among the health workers in the state in order to secure the release of their colleagues.
The State Chairman of NMA, Ogunlaja Oladayo confirmed their release after about six days in captivity, in an interview with Daily Trust on Tuesday.
“Yes. They have been released early this morning,” he said.
When asked if ransom was paid, Oladayo responded “I don’t have any information on that.”
However, the NMA Chairman said there is no going back on strike declared by health workers in protest against kidnapping of their colleagues in the state.
He said the health workers need to be assured of their safety and that of the hospitals before they would return to their duty posts.
Daily Trust reports that Medical doctors and nurses in Ogun State have announced withdrawal of services in protest against abduction of their colleagues.
The no-work protest takes effect from 12 midnight on Tuesday.
Gunmen had, last Wednesday, abducted a medical doctor, Oladunni Odetola and a nurse, Mrs Bamgbose, along Abeokuta – Imeko road, but they have been released early this morning.
Our correspondent gathered that a dental therapist working with the General Hospital, Ijebu – Igbo was abducted on her way to work on Monday.
Miffed by the development, the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) and the National Association of Nigeria Nurses and Midwives (NANNM) in a letter jointly addressed to the Commissioner of Health, Dr Tomi Coker, accused the government of noncommittal to securing release of the abducted health workers.
The letter titled “Notification of Withdrawal of Service,” was dated April 12, 2021, and jointly signed by the State NMA Chairman, Oladayo Ogunlaja and the State Chairman of NANNM, Roseline Solarin.
They described kidnapping of the health workers as “disheartening, repugnant and unacceptable,” adding that that the Government’s approach of “not negotiating with the kidnappers have left us to believe our lives and security is of no essence to this government.”
The leadership, therefore, declared withdrawal of service by the doctors and nurses, from all public health institutions in the state, effective from 12 midnight on Tuesday.
The strike will continue until the safety of our members is guaranteed, the leadership added.
The letter reads partly “In the light of the above, it glaring that the safety of the Health workers is no longer guaranteed.