Umuahia, June 25, 2022
Doctors in Abia State have lamented the seeming nonchalant attitude of the federal and state governments as well as the security agencies towards the rescue of a kidnapped 74-year-old medical Doctor, Professor Uwadinachi Iweha.
Professor Iweha was, until his abduction on Sunday, June 5, 2022, in front of his house at Umuokpara in Umuahia South Local Government Area, the Provost, Gregory University College of Medicine, Umuahia Campus. He was formerly the Chief Medical Director, Abia State University Teaching Hospital, Aba and Abia Specialist Hospital and Diagnostic Centre, Umuahia.
Some of the Doctors who spoke to our Correspondent in separate interviews over the weekend said that three weeks after the highly respected medical practitioner was kidnapped, nothing has been heard about his whereabouts and that there are no concrete efforts by the governments and security agencies to locate and rescue him from his abductors.
The doctors say they are very worried and, indeed, afraid for their colleague and for themselves, noting that no one knows who will be next, pointing out that if a personality like Professor Iweha could be abandoned in this manner, it meant that everyone, literally speaking, was on their own.
Disturbed by the development, doctors under the aegis of the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA) Abia chapter, went on a peaceful protest to the Government House, Umuahia, demanding immediate government intervention to secure the release of their colleague.
Subsequently, the doctors, during another protest, announced withdrawal of their services in both public and private hospitals on June 12, 2022 over the kidnap of Dr. Iweha.
These steps have so far not yielded the desired results.
Speaking on the matter on Saturday, June 25, 2022, Dr Stanley Ogbonna, a Consultant Physician at the Federal Medical Centre (FMC) Umuahia, said that the situation had created an atmosphere of fear among his colleagues.
He said: “It is really disheartening that such a heinous crime will happen, and the government seems to be unconcerned about it.
“There are no concerted efforts by the security agencies to see that the individual is rescued alive.
“We don’t know whether he is still alive or not because the people involved are not communicating.
“It is quite distressful, and it creates an atmosphere of fear.
“Nobody knows who will be next and it is really a dangerous trend. We are really worried,” he stressed.
Similarly, Dr Kelechi Chikezie, the immediate past President, National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD), FMC, Umuahia, said that they are worried that there was no information yet about Professor Iweha.
“If we cannot be secured by our government, how can we comfortably perform our duties?
“The doctors are still afraid, but we are hopeful that something good comes out of this,” Chikezie, the National Secretary-elect of NARD said.
The State Chairman of NMA, Dr Chimezie Okwuonu, when contacted for comment, did not pick his calls, neither did he yet respond to the text message sent to his mobile phone as at press time.
Meanwhile, when contacted, the police said they were yet to get any update concerning the whereabouts of the abducted Professor.
The police spokesman in Abia, SP Godfrey Ogbonna told our correspondent that “there is no update yet,” adding that efforts were being intensified to locate and rescue him.
Sources close to the Professor said that he has a medical condition that requires that he takes his medications regularly and that the family had done all they could to secure his release without success so far, stressing that they are presently living in mortal fear for his wellbeing given his health condition and the fact that he did not have his medications with him when he was snatched.
Professor Iweha is described as an elderly man, fair in complexion, about 5ft 2inch tall who was last seen on white chieftaincy top on grey trousers.