Increasing Incidences of Kidnapping of Medical Personnel in Rivers State

05:30 Mar 4 2015 Port Harcourt, Port-Harcourt, Rivers, Nigeria

Doctors in Rivers State are worried over what they described as incessant kidnapping in the State targeted at their members.

According to them, six doctors had been kidnapped in the last one month, with one victim killed in the process.

More cases had been recorded recently suggesting that the scourge is increasing.

Doctors in the State took to the streets of Port Harcourt, the State’s capital, on Saturday, this time, not for welfare benefits but to mourn one of their own who died in the hands of kidnappers recently.

According to them, the victim’s case was just one of the several kidnap cases which they said had been targeted at their members.

The protest took them to the Department of State Security and the police headquarters in the State.

The State Commissioner of Police, Mr Dan Bature, told the protesters that his command was stopping at nothing to rid the State of the scourge of kidnapping.

At a press briefing, the Commissioner of Health, Mr Sampson Parker, wondered why doctors were being targeted.

Many said it was not just the doctors that should be worried about the situation. Residents said they also are in risk and are hopeful that the security agencies would stem the spate of kidnapping.

Implications: The wondering by Dr. Sampson Parker about why doctors have been targeted in recent times is legitimate given the frequency of the kidnap incidents measured against the period of occurrence. There is no precedence of medical personnel being targeted at this rate and within such short time spans, suggesting that there may be a connection between the incidences and the current political situation in the state.
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