Former chairman, Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), Edo State Chapter, Dr Philip Ugbodaga, and two other doctors whose identities are yet to be known were reportedly kidnapped in Friday in faraway Imo State where they had gone to render free medical services to some communities courtesy of a friend who was championing free medical services to members of the community.
It was gathered that Ugbodaga and his colleagues had hardly arrived at their base when they were forcefully stopped by the suspected kidnappers and taken away at gunpoint by three of the occupants of the vehicle to an unknown destination. At the time of this report, the suspected kidnapers were yet to make any contact.
Family members have been reluctant to comment on the incident but security agencies are already investigating the kidnapping.
It was reliably gathered that the incident happened at Isu local government near Umuaka when a particular vehicle suspected to have been trailing them ordered them to stop and picked Ugbodaga and the two other doctors.
Convener of Edo Focus, Aiyamenkhue Edokpolor, a platform for socio-economic discourse about the state where Ugbodaga is an active member, has called on IGP Solomon Arase to rescue the victims and arrest the perpetrators.
“The news of Dr. Phillip Ugbodaga’s kidnap came to us as a rude shock because apart from his easy-going lifestyle; he is an indefatigable advocate for the emancipation of the poor; the preservation of the rights of the oppressed Nigerians and health care provider for the vulnerable citizens of Edo and Nigeria. For us, there is certainly no justification for such a person in Ugbodaga’s standing to be kidnapped assuming the perpetrators considers moral grounds as a precursor for their action; however, we are appealing to the Inspector General of Police – Mr. Solomon Arase to deploy his professional expertise towards the safe and healthy release of our dear brother and comrade.
In his statement on the kidnap, immediate past president of the NMA, Dr Osahon Enabulele who is also part of the platform said “It’s really sad that our brother Dr Philip Ugbodaga was kidnapped by some faceless individuals. While I urge all to fervently pray for his speedy release, I commend all on-going efforts being made to secure his safe release. Undoubtedly, our brother’s kidnap is yet another reminder of the failure of the Nigerian State.