Dr Alex Akani, a medical consultant at the Department of Family Medicine University Of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital, abducted by gunmen last Friday at his residence in Rumuekini in Obio-Akpor local government area of Rivers State, has been released.
He was released by his abductors on Wednesday night unharmed.
Dr Onotan Lucky, an executive of the Nigerian Medical Association, Rivers State branch, who confirmed the release of Dr Akani, did not disclose whether ransom was paid to secure his release.
Medical consultants at UPTH and other doctors in the state had embarked on strike yesterday to demand the release of their colleagues in captivity, including Dr Akani.
The strike was announced on Tuesday night in a statement from the Public Relations Officer of the Medical and Dental Consultants Association, UPTH, Dr. Chukwuemeka Emmanuel, who said that the striking doctors will only attend to emergency cases.
In a related development, the Rivers branch of the Nigerian Medical Association, NMA, has raised an alarm over the kidnapping of doctors in the state, noting that five medical doctors had been abducted in the last three months.
The NMA Public Relations Officer, Dr Ohaka Justice, said: ”while a female doctor, Dr Florence Onua, Consultant Family Physician with the Braithwaite Memorial Hospital was shot dead in April in GRA of Port Harcourt, the whereabouts of Dr Bobmanuel Clark, who was abducted on March 23 is yet to regain freedom. His status is still uncertain, while Dr Ogbolomini, a retired medical director was also kidnapped last month in Degema from his clinic.
”This is in addition to some unsuccessful kidnap attempts of some doctors,” he added.
He appealed to the state government and the security agencies to ensure the release of their colleague.
Spokesman of the Rivers State Police Command, Omoni Nnamdi, a DSP, said the command is yet to confirm the release of Dr Akani as at the time of filing this report.
Medical doctors in Rivers had on several occasions staged protests over the incessant kidnap of medical doctors in the state.