Colleagues Rally as Kogi Doctor Endures Sixth Day in Kidnappers’ Lair
In a striking display of solidarity, medical professionals in Kogi State converged on the streets of Lokoja, the state’s capital, on Tuesday. Their purpose: to voice their outrage over the recent abduction of one of their own, Dr. Austin Uwumagbe.
Dr. Uwumagbe, serving as the Director of Victory Hospital-Annex in Ogaminana, Adavi Local Government Area of Kogi State, fell victim to a group of gunmen suspected to be kidnappers just last week.
A comprehensive examination conducted by our correspondent encompassed visits to prominent medical institutions within the state capital, including the Kogi State Specialist Hospital Lokoja and the Federal Teaching Hospital, Lokoja. During these visits, a conspicuous absence of doctors attending to patients underscored the gravity of the protest.
Dr. Olusola Baoku, the Kogi State Chairman of the Nigeria Medical Association, candidly addressed the underlying concerns that had propelled medical practitioners to this rare display of public outcry. He lamented that doctors in Nigeria have increasingly become targets of criminal elements, a disturbing trend that has persisted for the past two years.
Baoku deplored the misguided perception that doctors are exceptionally wealthy, rendering them susceptible to kidnapping for ransom. He emphasized the harsh financial realities faced by many medical professionals, asserting that their earnings are far from substantial, often dissipated in settling various debts.
“Some of our members are agitated and restless because nobody knows who will be kidnapped next. People are no longer safe to go to work,” Baoku expressed with palpable concern.
Furthermore, Baoku revealed that the kidnappers had already made contact with the family of the abducted doctor and were demanding a ransom for his release, compounding the distressing situation faced by medical practitioners in the region.