Tony Osauzo, Benin
Doctors and other medical staff of the Irrua Specialist Teaching Hospital, yesterday, downed tools following the abduction of the Chief Medical Director, Prof. Sylvanus Okogbenin.
He was abducted at Ramat Park, Ikpoba-Okha Local Government on Monday on his way to Benin Airport to catch a flight to Abuja. Two policemen were killed in the process while some passersby were reportedly hit with stray bullets.
The doctors on the platform of Association of Residents Doctors and the Joint Health Workers Union (JOHESU), staged a peaceful protest with placards of various inscriptions, demanding immediate release of the CMD.
Branch chairman of the ARD, Dr. Julian Ojebor, said they were shocked about the kidnapping after the release of two of their staff who were earlier abducted.
Spokesman for the hospital, Mr. Ernest Ohue said they have commenced prayers for the safe return of their boss, adding that the doctors have vowed not to return to work until Prof. Okogbenin is released.
He said the hospital was still open to receive patients.
At press time yesterday the kidnappers were yet to make demands for ransom payment.
Meanwhile, Governor Godwin Obaseki, has assured that security agencies were working to rescue the CMD).
The governor said this after a closed-door meeting with security chiefs yesterday at Government House, Benin City, noting that all units of the state’s security architecture were on top of their game to ensure that the abducted CMD regains freedom.
“We have stepped up surveillance in the past weeks in the state with our new security architecture. Citizens have been going about their daily activities peacefully. But the kidnap of the CMD is a setback. Edo people should be assured that security agencies will certainly trail the kidnappers and rescue Prof. Okogbeni.”
“I just finished a closed-door meeting with security chiefs. I have been assured of his rescue as we have useful information and the security agencies are working on it. I pray we get in touch with the victim soon.
“We can’t disclose much at this time as security services are working hard. You know we made significant investment in our security architecture and hopefully we shall contact him soon.”
The Commissioner of Police, Mr. Danmalam Mohammed, assured that men of the Edo State Police Command are on the trail of the kidnappers.