Fred Ezeh, Abuja
The Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) said it has discovered why its members seem to be the target of kidnappers and other criminals across Nigeria.
It expressed dismay with the worsening state of security in Nigeria and the continued incarceration of two of their Taraba based colleagues, Dr. Audu Sule and Dr. Sunday Oduniyi, by kidnappers.
It recalled that last week, Dr. Jerome Boluwaji Elusiyan, a professor of pediatrics and child health at Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, and the Chairman, Medical Advisory Committee, OAU teaching hospital, was killed by unknown gunmen, on his back to Ile-Ife from Ekpoma where he was external examiner for medical students examination at Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma, Edo State.
NMA President, Dr. Francis Faduyile, told journalists in Abuja, on Wednesday, that the National Executive Council of NMA, at its meeting in Kano, last week, registered their concern with the rising cases of attack on medical doctors and other health care workers.
He said the sustained attacks could be as a result of misconception that, perhaps, the medical doctors are as rich as politicians or other businessmen in the society.
Dr. Faduyile said: “It’s unfortunate that so many Nigerians believe that doctors are very rich, financially and otherwise. That’s not true and a total misconception. We are like every other Nigerian living in Nigeria and facing the same socioeconomic fate. We are only dedicated to saving lives not minding the situation.
“Some of miscreants have the believes that they would make much fortune if they get hold of our members. In addition to that, our job exposes us to such attacks because we work round the clock to ensure that lives are saved.”
He called on government to ensure state of security is improved significantly so that people can go about their business without fear of molestation and intimidation.
The NMA President was concerned that sustained attacks on medical doctors and other health workers could lead to manpower crisis in no distant time, as doctors would be forced to stay off work for their safety.
He added: “We have almost exhausted all our patients. We are on the verge of taking action that may not be in the of the generality of Nigeria if the threat to our lives and safety continues.