The Medical and Dental Consultants Association of Nigeria (MDCAN) has raised alarm over the escalating cases of doctor kidnappings in Cross River State. According to MDCAN, a staggering 14 doctors have fallen victim to kidnappings in the state within the past five years.
In a press statement jointly signed by the President of MDCAN, Dr. Victor Makanjuola, and the Secretary-General, Dr. Yemi Raji, the association expressed deep concern about the prevailing insecurity in the state, particularly the abduction of medical professionals.
The distressing situation was further underscored by the recent abduction of Professor Ekanem Philip-Ephraim, a distinguished neurology professor. Prof. Philip-Ephraim was abducted in Calabar on July 13, 2023, and as of now, there has been no word on her release.
In a poignant excerpt from the statement, MDCAN emphasized the gravity of the situation, stating, “Today marks 48 days since our very senior colleague and Professor of Neurology, Prof. Ekanem Philip-Ephraim, was kidnapped from her home in Calabar, Cross River State, and taken into captivity. With no communication from her captors, the state of her current physical and mental health remains a matter of conjecture.”
The association expressed deep concern about the overall security situation in Calabar, with a rising wave of unchecked kidnappings that has gripped both the urban and residential areas. The statement noted, “How else does one explain the kidnap of as many as 14 doctors in one city in just 5 years? That we have lost confidence in the ability of the Cross River State Police Command to contain the trend of kidnapping in the state will only be putting it mildly.”
MDCAN called upon the Inspector-General of Police, Olukayode Egbetokun, to take immediate action by setting up a specialized investigative team to combat the increasing crime rate in the state. The association also urged the public to join them in demanding that all levels of government prioritize the safety and security of Nigerian lives.
In a bid to draw attention to this unresolved crisis, MDCAN announced plans to hold a white ribbon event across all MDCAN chapters nationwide on September 1, 2023.
Efforts to obtain a response from the Police Force Public Relations Officer, Olumuyiwa Adejobi, were unsuccessful at the time of filing this report, as he did not respond to calls and text messages.