- Association Resident Doctors protests
A medical doctor who works in the department of surgery in University of Uyo Teaching Hospital has allegedly been brutalised by an officer of the Nigerian Police Force who was identified as sgt Alexander Eddidiong.
Information that was made available to vista.ng is that the doctor, David Daniel, who was on his way to hospital with his wife came under the brutal spell of the said officer who was enforcing a sit-at-home order made by Akwa Ibom government.
The victim was then accosted by officers who were stationed at Nung Oku junction, close to Champion Breweries.
Despite proper identification, the overzealous police officer among the team went ahead to pounce on the doctor until he had an arm fractured.
Angered by the fate suffered by their colleague who was on essential duty, the Association of Resident Doctors, Akwa Ibom State Chapters has now released a statement protesting the treatment received by one of theirs.
ARD UUTH, in a statement signed by its General Secretary, Dr Ekemini Bassey, narrated the unfortunate incident and stated that it will go to any length, within the law, to get justice for Dr David.
The letter, in full, reads:
“ASSAULT ON OUR MEMBER, DR DAVID DANIEL, CHIEF RESIDENT, DEPT OF SURGERY BY AN OFFICER OF THE NIGERIAN POLICE*.
At about 5:45pm today, we received a distress call from our member, Dr Daniel David, the chief Resident department of surgery that he had been assaulted by an officer of the Nigerian police force arround Nung Oku junction (where the ring road ends in Aka Rd close to Champion Breweries).
On arriving the spot, we met a very rowdy scene. We immediately identified Dr Daniel, secured him and his wife who was with him.
We got his side of the story which was thus:
He was taking his wife to the hospital when they met a huge road block mounted in accordance with the lockdown order by the State Government. He was approached by a police officer who asked him to go back. He introduced himself and presented his ID but wasn’t still allowed by the police officer to pass. Rather, the officer kept insisting that he goes back and also began hitting his car with a stick. He alighted from the vehicle to protest and at that point the officer hit him with the same stick on the left forearm.
The officer was not present at the scene when we arrived. He was said to have been moved to the C division.
We immediately made several calls to the NMA chairman, the police PRO of the state, the CMD of the hospital who said he was going to reach the Hon Commisioner of health. In no time, we were joined by the NMA chairman, Dr Nyoyoko and the PPRO at the scene who tried his best to resolve the issue. We demanded to see the commissioner of police and that they produce the assailant police officer, one sergeant Alexander Eddidiong, who we insisted must be prosecuted. After a while, the assistant commissioner of police came to the scene to pacify us, giving us assurances that the issue will receive the required attention. He even claimed he had ordered both the sergeant and Inspector at that checkpoint detained. Unsatisfied with their actions, we proceeded to officially register the complaint at the C division of the police force in the state in preparation for a further escalation of the matter. While at the C Division, the commissioner of police reached out to us on phone and directed that the DPO brings us to his house immediately.
We were joined at his residence by the NMA chairman who added his voice in registering our anger.
The commissioner of police apologized profusely for the action of his men. He said he had ordered the process of dismissal of the the culprit police officer from the force, beginning with an inner room trial which is to begin tonight.
He also said he had radioed all the DCPs in the state to ensure that no form of harassment is metted on any doctor moving around the state during this period of lockdown and beyond. Any form of identification by a doctor at any road block will be sufficient to allow the doctor pass, be it an *ID card or the NMA pass.*
He gave some money that we should immediately take Dr Daniel for treatment which he said is the main priority tonight and that we will have subsequent engagements on the matter later.
We expressed our utmost displeasure and made him understand that this is a major and complicated issue which will have very far reaching implications.
Presently, Dr David is in Premier hospital where we arranging for an x-ray and an orthopaedic review for him.He is stable.
Dear congress men and women, we fully understand that a very drastic action is needed at this point as this is completely unacceptable and should be escalated to the highest level.
We are engaging widely to ensure we take an action that will send a very strong message to the law enforcement agencies .
We are also looking at the appropriateness of a congress at this period of the covid-19 pandemic in view of the prohibition on gathering of more than 10 persons by the Akwa Ibom State Government and our quorum which stipulates at least 15 persons.
We intend to follow up with the case as already filed to ensure it is not swept under the carpet.
We encourage our members to continue with the media Sensitization as we consolidate on the gains made so far.
The National President has been duly informed about the incident.
We have noted all your comments and we urge you to keep them coming.
However, let’s bare in mind that any action we take now must be within the confines of the law.
We believe strongly that justice shall be served on this matter.
We shall update you with the next line of action as event unfolds.
We appreciate our members who followed us to the scene of the incidence, Past president Dr Aniekan Utuk, Dr Obinna Njoku and Dr Jane Njoku.
We also thank Dr Eme Itina who was very instrumental in getting the commissioner of police involved tonight.
Thank you and have a good night rest.
Dr EKemini Bassey