Abia doctors threaten strike over harassment by security operatives

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By Ihechinyere Chigemeri-Uwom

Umuahia, October 23, 2020 The Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), Abia Chapter, has threatened to go on strike over harassment of its members by security operatives.

Chairman and Secretary of the chapter, Dr Chimezie Okwuonu and Dr Robinson Ugwuanyi, respectively, made the warning in a statement issued in Umuahia on Friday.

The duo stated that medical practitioners on duty were being harassed by security operatives even as they were exempted from the 24-hour curfew imposed by Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu

They called on the state government and relevant agencies to address the development and protect members in the line of duty during the period.

“We can no longer tolerate the insult from the security agents who have been persistently harassing our members on the line of duty.

“If the government of Abia and her security personnel do not come up with practical and adequate measures to protect our members in the next 24 hours, we may be left with no choice than to ask our members to stay away from work till further notice.

“We also call on heads of health institutions in the state to liaise with the state government and security agents to end the harassment,’’ they added.

The chapter would set up an “Emergency Response Team’’ within the next 24 hours to assist in providing appropriate and timely medical interventions during this period, they stated.

The chairman and secretary urged NMA members in the state to give prompt attention to wounded victims of the on-going protest and encouraged them to be vigilant and to keep safe as they discharge their duties.

They declared that the association’s “2020 Physicians Week’’, which was billed to hold from Oct. 19 to Oct. 25 had been suspended.

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