Delta State branch of the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA) has threatened to withdraw services across hospitals in the state unless some military officers allegedly involved in the maltreatment of one of it’s members were identified and brought to book.
Chairman of NMA in the state, Dr. Emmanuel Nwose handed down the threat while reacting to what he described as inhuman and degrading treatment meted out on Dr. Raphael Onyemekahia in Warri allegedly by soldiers enforcing the curfew imposed by Governor Ifeanyi Okowa.
Dr. Onyemekehia, a consultant physician, was going to work on Saturday morning when he was stopped by the soldiers who allegedly made him to swim, at gun point, in a pool of mud water for violating the curfew order.
Nwose condemned the alleged assault, saying that he had reported the incident to the state governor, Dr. Okowa.
He demanded that the perpetrators of the ugly act must be fished out and prosecuted by the military authorities to serve as a warning to overzealous military personnel.
“On his way to work he was beaten up by soldiers at Airport Junction in Effurun around 11am on Saturday. The victim is Dr. Raphael Onyemekehia, a consultant physician. He reported to us and said the soldiers were without their name tags.
“When he got to the check point, he showed them his ID card and told them he was going to work but they refused him passage. Thereafter, they ordered him to swim in the murky water inside the gutter. Since they pointed gun at him, he had no option than to enter the water to swim.
“While he was swimming, they were flogging him until a superior officer came and told them to allow him to go home. He sustained injuries. This is not acceptable to us. As doctors, we are essential workers and when we say we want to attend to patients, we should be allowed to do that.
“What we (NMA) are demanding is that those military personnel should be identified and brought to book. If nothing is done about this, we will be force to withdraw our services until our member gets justice.
“We are calling on the Delta State Government and the military authorities to fish out the soldiers that committed this crime and with necessary disciplinary action taken against them. Our member must be duly compensated or we will call for withdrawal of our services,” Nwose said.