Friday, July 29, 2016 7:37 pm
By Jethro Ibileke/Benin
The abduction of two nurses of the University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH), in Edo state, last Wednesday by unknown gunmen, has posed an imminent crisis, as nurses in the Hospital have threatened to embark on an indefinite strike, if their colleagues are not released before the end of Sunday.
The victims identified as Osemelu Lydia and Ovbiosu Bose, both who were said to be nursing mothers, were reportedly abducted on Wednesday afternoon, along Oluku road in Benin.
They were said to have been taken away in a Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV) belonging to one of them, on their way home, after picking up their children from school.
The abduction of the nurses sparked off a protest by nurses of the hospital on Friday, as they matched along major streets of the city, singing solidarity songs.
The aggrieved nurses who carried placards with various inscriptions, took their protest to the palace of Benin Crown Prince, who condemned the abduction.
On the issue, the Chairman of the UBTH branch of the National Association of Nigeria Nurses and Midwives, Austin Osigbeme, who led the peaceful protest, lamented that incessant abduction of their members has become source of worry for nurses and the management of the Hospital, as it was causing apprehension among them.
“They are friends. They went for school run and as they picked their children, one was going to drop the other at home. In the process of dropping her friend with her children, a jeep blocked them and took them away to an unknown destination.
“Our members are very worried now; we are worried to the extent that people are even afraid of coming to work, so that you will not be spotted in your uniform while at work.
“We are also worried that the security agencies are not doing anything about the matter. We cannot see what they are doing,” he said, revealing that nurses abducted earlier paid ransoms before they were released.
Osigbeme therefore called on security agencies in the state to live up to their responsibility of protecting the lives and property of Nigerians.
It would be recalled that no fewer than four nurses of the teaching hospital have been reportedly kidnapped this year.
At the time of this report, the abductors were yet to make any contact with the victims’ families even as spokesman of the Edo State Police Command, Theodore Okafor, said he was yet to be briefed on the incident.
Meanwhile, the Benin Crown Prince and Edaiken N’Uselu, HRH, Eheneden Erediauwa, has condemned in strong terms, the abduction of two nurses of the University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH), by unknown gunmen in Egor Local Government Area of Edo State.
The Crown Prince who spoke through Chief Nosakhare Obadiaru, said: “The palace is against every kidnapping and will do everything possible to make sure that this thing is reversed.”