The Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) has threatened to shut down all hospitals in Delta state in protest of the reported murder of one of its members, Dr Uyi Iluobe, calling on the Inspector General of Police to ensure thorough investigation into the dastardly act.
It was gathered that Dr Iluobe, an ordained minister with the Church of God Mission Ministries, was gruesomely murdered in his privately-owned hospital (Olive clinic) in the town of Oghara-eki, Ethiope West local government area of Delta state.
While some version of reports say the medical doctor was allegedly killed by unknown assailants on the evening of 29th December 2022, another version says he was alleged to have been attacked and killed by the relatives of his patient at the hospital.
The police command in Delta state was yet to make any official comment on the sad death of the medical doctor but sources said to be close to the family had revealed that Dr Uyi had received numerous threats in the course of his selfless services in the community.
A version of the incident has it that the deceased was in the consulting room with a patient (who is currently at large) who came in with severe pains and was being reviewed urgently without registration in medical records when suddenly the assailants came in and shot him dead.
The lady (supposed patient) and the assassins left hurriedly in a car parked outside the hospital while other hospital staffs were all lying face down and in fear.
According to the account of the deceased family, few days before he was assassinated, a gunshot victim was brought to the hospital and in following the laws, he advised that they would need to provide a police report before treatment is commenced but they rather insisted that the victim be treated off police notification.
“He refused and they took the gunshot victim away angry and furious,” sources said.
Reacting to the development, the Nigerian Medical Association, in a statement by its President, Dr Uche Ojinmah, on Monday, urged the National Assembly to criminalise violence against healthcare workers in the country.
Ojinmah said, “The Nigerian Medical Association received with shock and sadness the news of the murder on December 31, 2022, of Dr Iluobe by the relatives of his patient at Oghara, where his practice was based.
“The above scenario being the response of the relatives to the loss of a patient from suspected gunshot injuries can never be justified and has taken violence against doctors and other healthcare workers from injuries to murder.
“It is unbelievable that in the face of a debilitating medical brain drain, the few doctors that patriotically decided to stay back and take care of our fellow citizens are being murdered by same Nigerians.
“While we sympathise with the family of the patient that was lost, we strongly condemn this murder and call on the Government of Delta State, and the Inspector-General of Police to, as a matter of urgency, to bring the perpetrators of this heinous crime to book so as to assuage the pain we feel. A man should not be murdered for the selfless act of being on duty on New Year’s Eve,” it said.
Similarly, the NMA South-,South Caucus/Zone, in a statement on Tuesday, signed by Dr Udoka Imoisili, Chairman, NMA Edo State branch/South-South Caucus and Dr Collins Otoikhila Secretary, NMA Edo State branch/South-South Caucus/ZEC, said they received with rude shock the news of the gruesome murder of Dr.Uyi lluobe,
“While the South-South caucus/zone in conjunction with the Delta State branch of NMA is working hard to unravel the circumstances behind this unwarranted murder of a dutiful medical doctor, the zone strongly condemns this dastardly act and in the interim, resolves as follows:
“That the relevant security agencies step up their efforts to arrest the perpetrators of this heinous crime within five (5) days, after which the South- South caucus may not be able to guarantee the rendering of normal medical services in the entire South-South zone.
“That members of all NMA State branches in the South-South Zone should henceforth put on black arm bands throughout this week to mourn our colleague, Dr Uyi lluobe”.
The organization, however threatened to commence one week total shut down of hospitals in Delta state after its press conference billed for Wednesday, 4th of January, 2022.
The zonal body, also said that if the law enforcement agencies do not fish out the murderers of our colleague at the expiration of one week, the whole states in South-South zone of NMA will down tools.
“While we mourn the unfortunate murder of our colleague, we wish to assure all our members in the South-South Zone that we shall pursue this case to its logical conclusion.We will not spare anything to ensure that Dr Uyi lluobe and his family gets justice,” the statement added.