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MEDICAL & HEALTHCARENEWS

Imo Doctors Commence Warning Strike Over Shooting of Colleague by Police

Doctors in Imo state have threatened to embark on a strike action following the shooting of one of their colleagues by police.

On Thursday, a member of the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA), Imo State branch, participating in a peaceful demonstration against the concessioning of public health institutions by Gov. Rochas Okorocha was shot dead by the police.

The victim, Dr Bede Azudialor, a Consultant Physician with the Federal Medical Centre , Owerri, was allegedly shot in the head by anti-riot policemen drafted to monitor the demonstration by the doctors.

The State Chairman of the Nigerian Guild of Medical Doctors, Dr. Darlington Akukwu, who briefed newsmen on the incident in Owerri, announced the commencement of a three-day warning strike by doctors in the state following the incident.

“ Following the shooting of our member, doctors in Imo State will from today commence a three-day warning strike during which the Nigerian Police Force must name the policeman that shot our member.

“The warning strike beginning from Feb. 4, will last for three days and if after the expiration of three days, the person who shot at our colleague fails to come out, doctors will start an indefinite strike action’’, Akukwu said.

He urged the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Mr. Solomon Arase to compel the Commissioner of Police in the state, Mr Taiwo Lakanu , to produce the culprit who perpetrated the act.
Akukwu further urged President Muhammadu Buhari to thoroughly investigate the matter.

The peaceful protest was said to have started from the NMA office on Port Harcourt Road, Owerri at about 12 noon.

It was gathered that when the doctors got to Orlu Road junction, Owerri, anti-riot police in about 10 Hilux vans started throwing tear gas canisters on the group during which a gun was suspected to have been fired, which injured the doctor.

“It was in the process of tear gassing of the group that Dr Bede Azudiaro fell down and raised alarm that he had been shut in the head, with blood gushing from his head.

Earlier, the state chairman of NMA, Dr Hyacinth Emele, had told journalists that the association was protesting against the concessioning of public health institutions by the state government and so many other mundane things happening within the organization saying the life of the people of  imo state was at risk.

When contacted, the PPRO in the state (DSP) Andrew Enwerem said that the police only used tear gas to disperse the protesting doctors when they became riotous.

“Police did not shoot anybody and nobody who is shot on the head will ever remain alife.

“Let them produce a doctor’s report to confirm that it was a real case of shooting on the head. Anybody can pick any blood stained material from anywhere and claim that he was shot”, Enwerewhe said.

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