A resident doctor working in the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital (UPTH) was last Friday kidnapped inside the hospital while on call-duty.
The hospital management had insisted the incident never happened within the hospital premises, but inside sources have since debunked that claim.
The young female doctor was released in the early hours of Tuesday, February 28, 2017 after the officers of the Nigeria Police Force were able to locate the hideout of the kidnappers in a thick forest in Aluu community.
Aluu community has come under searchlight again after news of this unfortunate incident broke out. Can Nigerians ever forget the horrific story of the Aluu-4? Four students of the University of Port Harcourt were given jungle justice in 2012 after they were suspected to be armed robbers and/or cultists. They were tried and found guilty by a kangaroo court set up by the people of the community and later unjustly and summarily executed without hearing their own side of the story. Aluu is also the country home of the late Elechi Amadi, the writer of the popular novel, The Concubine. Elechi Amadi was also once a guest of the kidnappers in his community though he was released thereafter. Aluu community is very close to the Choba and Alakahia communities that host the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital and the University of Port Harcourt’s three campuses. The surprising fact about Aluu community is that the Inspector General of Police Anti-Kidnapping Tracking Unit is headquartered very close to the community along the UDSS (University Demonstration Secondary School) road. Today Aluu community is in the news again for housing the kidnapped resident doctor for four days.
Our reporter gathered that the female resident doctor was actually kidnapped inside UPTH as against the speculation that she might have been kidnapped outside the hospital. Earlier on that Friday, February 24th, 2017, she got a call that there was an emergency caesarean section. As a resident doctor on-call in the Anaesthesiology Department, she was going to honour the medical consult to review the patient before administering anaesthetic medications. As she was passing through one of the dark areas in the hospital where the management has refused to install security lights, she was accosted by a group of boys who first ordered that she hand over her phone. She queried why she should do that, but she was soon overpowered. The incident happened between 19:00 and 20:00 hours. When she sensed trouble brewing, she decided to appeal to their conscience. She told them about the emergency procedure she had been called for. She explained to them quickly that the woman and the unborn child could die if the operation was not done immediately. Her plea split the opinion of the kidnappers. Some of them felt the need for her to be released. They even suggested that another resident doctor on-call should be kidnapped in her place. The other guys objected. Letting her off the hook would jeopardise their activity for that day.
The doctor was finally forced into the boot of the kidnappers’ car. They drove off, passed through the hospital’s only gate opened to vehicles and manned by the best of the hospital’s security men.
She was a guest to the kidnappers from Friday till early hours of Tuesday, 28th February when she was released after a hot shootout between the kidnappers and the police. She was not hurt during the rescue operation but she is currently recovering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). She was received by the CMD of UPTH, Prof. Aaron Ojule and the Commissioner of Police of Rivers State. She has since been reunited with her family.
Our reporter also uncovered that one of the UPTH security men was among the kidnappers. An argument had ensued while she was in the kidnappers’ den on why she must be killed. The security man was afraid that since the female resident doctor recognised him, releasing her might be dangerous. They planned to get rid of her after collecting the ransom money from her family. As fate would have it, she was rescued by the police before the ransom was paid.
In the course of the rescue operation, one of the kidnappers was shot dead while some are currently giving the police useful information on how to track the remaining members of their team.
Credit: Blessing Ihemere (The Health Pilot)