In a dramatic turn of events, an abducted resident doctor attached to the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital (UNTH), Ituku-Ozalla, Enugu State, Dr. Orockarrah Orock, has managed to escape from his captors after they fell into a deep slumber due to the consumption of marijuana.
The incident occurred on Saturday night, November 4, 2023, within the hospital premises while Dr. Orock was on call duty.
The Chairman of the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA), Enugu State Chapter, Dr. Celestine Ugwoke, confirmed this astonishing development to the News Agency of Nigeria on Monday, November 6.
According to Dr. Ugwoke, Dr. Orock’s escape can only be described as miraculous.
The kidnappers had initially demanded a ransom for his release, and upon receiving the ransom offer from the doctor’s wife, they decided to indulge in recreational drug use.
Apparently, the kidnappers became so engrossed in their “weeds and spirits” that they fell into a deep sleep.
Seizing this opportunity, Dr. Orock, still bound, managed to gradually crawl away from his captors and later trekked and ran a considerable distance.
He eventually reached an area with human activity and emerged near the Four Corner Junction of the Enugu-Port Harcourt Expressway.
He contacted his wife, who in turn informed the UNTH chief security officer, leading to his rescue at midnight on Saturday.
Dr. Ugwoke expressed profound gratitude to God for Dr. Orock’s miraculous escape and emphasized the increasing dangers faced by doctors in the state.
He stated that kidnappers are increasingly targeting medical professionals, particularly those working in tertiary health institutions within Enugu State.
“We are really in trouble as doctors are now their target, and we are living in fear as the kidnappers now chase us as if they are chasing rats,” Dr. Ugwoke lamented.
The chairman warned that if any more doctors from UNTH were abducted, doctors in the teaching hospital would go on strike, and this warning would extend to other tertiary hospitals in the state.
He emphasized the urgent need for improved security measures within the hospital.
The Nigeria Medical Association plans to hold a meeting with the Chief Medical Director (CMD) of UNTH to mandate the release of enhanced security protocols for the hospital, aiming to ensure the safety of all doctors, management staff, employees, and patients within the facility.
Their proposed security measures include adequate perimeter fencing of the entire hospital and the installation of Close Circuit Television Cameras (CCTV) with a monitoring base within the hospital premises.
Despite previous efforts to address the issue of doctors’ security through official channels, including communication with the state’s Commissioner for Health and the Commissioner of Police, the association’s concerns remain unaddressed.
Dr. Ugwoke expressed concerns that doctors might be forced to resort to protests and placard-carrying in front of the Enugu Government House if the government fails to take immediate action to address their security concerns.
This daring escape and the subsequent call for improved security measures serve as a stark reminder of the challenges faced by healthcare professionals in Enugu State, where their safety is increasingly at risk due to the activities of kidnappers.
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