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Doctors declare strike in Benue over colleague’s abduction

Doctors in Benue State will on Tuesday, August 22, 2023, commence a three-day warning strike in solidarity with one of their colleagues, Dr. Asema Msuega, who was kidnapped on Sunday, 23rd July 2023.

He was abducted on his way to supervise a state malaria initiative at a Primary Health Centre in Ukum Local Government Area of Benue state.

The doctors arrived at the decision at the Nigerian Medical Association, NMA, Benue State branch’s Executive Council (SEC) meeting held on Friday.

According to the statement signed by the Chairman, Dr Anenga, and the Secretary, Dr Godwin Ameh, the doctors would down their tools from Tuesday, 22nd August 2023, at 12:01 am, until Friday, 25th August 2023, at 8:00 am.

The statement partly read, “The strike will encompass all medical doctors and extend to all health and educational facilities across the State.

“Private hospitals and clinics across the State are exempted from the strike and will remain open on compassionate and kind consideration of the plight of the general public.

“However, all medical doctors working in Ukum Local Government are hereby directed to leave with immediate effect until instructed otherwise.

“In addition to the strike, there will be a massive protest on Thursday, 24th August 2023, to amplify our collective voice and demand the immediate release of Dr Asema.

“The protest will begin at 9am at the government house roundabout and end at the government house. This and the aforementioned measures will be activated unfailingly except he is released before the commencement of the strike.”

The doctors reiterated their call on the Governor of Benue State, Rev Fr Dr. Hyacinth Alia, the Tor Tiv, Orchiviligli Prof James Ayatse, the Senator representing Benue North-East senatorial zone, Barr. Emmanuel Udende, the member representing Katsina-Ala/Ukum/Logo federal constituency, Hon Solomon Wombo, the House of Assembly member representing Ukum constituency, Hon. Ezra Nyiyongo, and other stakeholders and well-meaning Nigerians “to please, wade into this ugly situation immediately to secure the life of this young medical doctor.”

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