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Doctors in Cross River End Indefinite Strike

The Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) in Cross River State has called off its indefinite strike.

Campus Reporter noted that the doctors embarked on an indefinite strike on March 12, to protest the abduction of the wife of their colleague, Mrs Christiana Ekanem.

Ekanem was kidnapped by unknown gunmen at her residence in Calabar on March 10. She was eventually released on March 21, after 11 days in captivity.

The decision to end the strike was announced by the NMA Chairman, Dr Agam Ayuk, on Monday during a press conference in Calabar.

“The indefinite withdrawal of medical services in both private and public hospitals is hereby suspended; medical and dental practitioners are directed to resume duties immediately,” he said.

He revealed that the association had called off the strike, following the release of Ekanem.

An elated Ayuk said the NMA was grateful to everyone whose efforts led to the safe release of Mrs Ekanem.

He also called on the government to show commitment and be more proactive in its duty to provide security for the citizens.

“The poor security situation in Cross River remains a daily reality as people continue to live in fear. We, therefore, reiterate our call on the government to show more political will and put measures in place to secure lives and properties as that remains its primary constitutional responsibility,” he said.

Warning against a reoccurrence, Dr Ayuk revealed that the “NMA in Cross River shall withdraw services without notice whenever a doctor or a dependent is taken captive in future.”

“NMA sincerely hopes that this is the last time it would take the difficult decision of withdrawing medical services in the event of the kidnapping of her members, and also hopes that our collective resolve will not be put to test again,” he said.

In the light of the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in Nigeria, Ayuk urged the Cross River state government to regulate large gatherings across the state.

“The COVID-19 pandemic is a reality with an increasing number of confirmed cases. We, therefore, call on the government to ban large gatherings. We also advise people to take recommended guidelines on social distancing, hand hygiene and respiratory hygiene seriously,” he said.

He also revealed the donation of hand sanitizers by the NMA to public and private hospitals in Cross River state, to support the efforts of government at preventing and containing the COVID-19 pandemic.

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