The Association of Resident Doctors and the Nigeria Medical Association, has threatened to embark on strike over police brutality on its member. In a press statement signed by Dr Paul Walshak, President, Dr Ekemini Bassey
Secretary General and Dr Ekomobong Udoh, Publicity Secretary, it said, “yesterday, the 3rd of April 2020, was another dark day among doctors in Akwa Ibom state when reason yet again died among the ranks of men of the Nigerian police.
A member of the Association, Dr David Daniel Edet, one of the only two senior Registrars currently on ground in the surgical department of the university of Uyo teaching hospital was severely brutalized by an officer of the Nigerian police, one sergeant ALEXANDER EDIDIONG of the SAFER HIGHWAY division on the evening of April the 3rd while on his way to the hospital.
Despite appropriately identifying himself as a doctor with his Identity card and stating he was on his way to the hospital, Sgt Alexander Edidiong refused to let him pass the road block mounted along Nung Oku junction to enforce the restriction of movement order issued by the State Government which clearly exempts healthcare care workers on essential duties.
Dr David Daniel continued to impress on sgt Alexander Edidiong on the need to allow him go to perform his essential duty but instead, the officer got angry and using a big stick, struck Dr David on his left forearm leading to a fracture of the left ulna bone and dislocation of the left wrist which were confirmed by X-rays obtained last night.
The implication of this barbaric action on Dr David Daniel’s career as a surgeon whose hands are very vital to his practice, his family, and the society at this time when healthcare resources especially personnel are greatly strained by the covid-19 pandemic is far reaching.
Equally disturbing is the security of other doctors including volunteers participating in efforts at combating the spread of covid-19 in the state who will be required to move around to provide this much needed healthcare services to the good people of Akwa Ibom state.
There is a lot of fear among our ranks at this moment and justifiable so. Many are unwilling to leave their houses to work and even as at the time of writing this release, we are still receiving reports from our members that the police is still preventing them from moving to their places of work despite appropriate identification.
The commissioner of police in Akwa Ibom has been duly notified and the case filed at the C division of the police command in Uyo.
Based on the foregoing and following the resolutions of an emergency exco meeting of The Association of Resident Doctors, UUTH held this morning, we hereby make the following demands to the Nigerian police.
They issue within the next 48 hours a public release apologizing on the action of their officer and, guaranteeing the safety and freedom from molestation of our members who will be required to move around providing much needed healthcare services at this time.
Publicly discipline the police officer who brutalized Dr David Daniel Edet.
Adequately compensate Dr David Daniel for the impact of the injuries he sustained on his career and defray the cost of all the medical bills that will be incurred in the course of his treatment.
They commence the process of performing a psychiatry evaluation to determine the mental fitness of the officers and men that will be stationed at the various road blocks in the state to safe the innocent public.
Failure to meet the above demands, we will be left with no other option than to direct all our members not to report at work to remain in their houses including those volunteers at the state’s covid-19 isolation centres as the safety of their lives cannot be guaranteed at this time.” The statement added.