Benin-city — Patients at the Irrua Specialist Hospital, Edo State, have been abandoned to their fate as the medical staff under the platform of JOHESU shut down activities at the facility to protest against the kidnap of the Chief Medical Director of the hospital, Professor Sylvanus Okogbeni.
The state Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has however assured the people of the state that security agencies are working assiduously to rescue Okogbeni, who was kidnapped last Monday by gunmen in Benin-city.
The governor stated this yesterday after a closed-door meeting with security chiefs in the state at the Government House in Benin-city, noting that all units of the state security architecture are on top of their game to ensure that the abducted CMD regains his freedom.
This came as authorities of the Specialist Hospital said yesterday that no communication has been established between the abductors, family of the kidnapped CMD and the hospital.
Professor Okogbeni was abducted by gunmen at Ramat Park in the city after they shot at his convoy which led to the death of two policemen attached to him while his personal driver and another person in his convoy sustained serious gunshot injuries in the process.
The gunmen were said to have trailed the CMD through the busy Auchi-Benin road before they swooped on him at the popular Ramat Park in Ikpoba Okha council area of the state.
The protesting workers of the hospital, which included medical doctors, midwives and nurses, bore placards with various inscriptions during the demonstration, demanding the immediate release of their boss.
They insisted that they would not return to work until the kidnapped CMD is released 'because he has been a good leader of the people within and outside the hospital community.'
The Public Relations Officer of the hospital, Mr. Ernest Odigie Ohue, said the medial staff took to the street to register their unhappiness because they are of the view that Okogbeni, since assumption of office, has been trying his very best to transform the hospital.
Meanwhile, Obaseki has assured the state that security agencies are working assiduously to rescue Okogbeni.
The governor said this after a closed-door meeting with security chiefs in the state in the Government House, noting that all units of the state security architecture are on top of their game to ensure that the abducted CMD regains his freedom.
According to the governor, "We have stepped up surveillance in the past weeks in the state with our new security architecture. Citizens have been going about their daily activities peacefully. But the kidnap of the CMD is a setback. Edo people should be assured that security agencies will certainly trail the kidnappers and rescue Okogbeni."
The state Commissioner of Police, Mr. Danmalam Mohammed, has also assured the people that men of the state Police Command are on the trail of the kidnappers.
The commissioner said the state is the most peaceful in the South-south region despite the recent kidnap incident, noting that "Edo is the most peaceful state in the South-south region, and we are putting in our best to ensure that the state remains peaceful. We are strategising to checkmate the activities of criminals.
"The kidnap of CMD is quite unfortunate and sad. We lost two of our gallant police officers in the incident, but there were no civilian casualties. I am assuring members of the public that we are on the trail of the kidnappers and by God's grace we shall arrest them."