‘We will double efforts to ensure Prof Ekanem’s release’ – Dep. Gov. Odey

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The Deputy Governor of Cross River State, Rt. Hon. Peter Odey, has provided reassurance to members of the Nigerian Medical Association that the government is fully committed to securing the release of Prof. Ekanen Philip-Ephraim from her abductors. Rt. Hon. Odey expressed the Governor’s and the security agencies’ unwavering dedication since the news of the abduction emerged, acknowledging the pain and psychological trauma experienced by the kidnapped doctor’s family NEGROIDHAVEN has confirmed.

In response to the concerns raised by the Nigerian Medical Association, the Deputy Governor pleaded for patience, assuring them that the government is exerting every effort to ensure the safe return of the victim. He emphasised that security holds a prominent position in the administration’s agenda, as highlighted in the Governor’s inaugural address.

The Chairman of the Cross River State Chapter of the Nigerian Medical Association, Dr. Felix Archibong, who led the delegation to express their deep concern over the abduction of their colleague appreciated the Governor and Deputy Governor’s prompt response to the association. Dr. Archibong also expressed worry that it had been over 72 hours since the doctor’s kidnapping and appealed to the government to expedite the response of the state’s security agencies to secure Prof. Ekanem’s swift release.

Brig. Gen. E. I. Okoro, Commander of the 13th Brigade of the Nigerian Army, urged the doctors to reconsider their plan to proceed on strike. He highlighted that Dr. Archibong had already acknowledged the government’s proactive approach to security. Brig. Gen. Okoro emphasised that a strike would only embolden criminals and make doctors vulnerable targets in the future.

The meeting was attended by Commissioner of Police, CP Gyonon Grimah, Director of the Department of State Services (DSS), Mr. John Sokoya, and the State Security Adviser, Maj. Gen. Okoi Ubi Obono (Rtd).