Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Anti-concessioning protest turns bloody in Owerri

05 February 2016, 07:54

Owerri - A member of the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA), Imo State branch, participating in a peaceful demonstration against the concessioning of public health institutions by Gov. Rochas Okorocha was on Thursday shot in the head.

The victim, Dr Bede Azudialor, a Consultant Physician with the Federal Medical Centre , Owerri, was allegedly shot in the head by anti-riot policemen drafted to monitor the demonstration by the doctors.

The media gathered that the victim was first rushed to the emergency unit of Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Owerri, from where he was moved to the intensive care unit (ICU) and thereafter relocated to an undisclosed hospital.

The State Chairman of the Nigerian Guild of Medical Doctors, Dr. Darlington Akukwu, who briefed newsmen on the incident in Owerri, announced the commencement of a three-day warning strike by doctors in the state following the incident.

"Following the shooting of our member, doctors in Imo State will from today commence a three-day warning strike during which the Nigerian Police Force must name the policeman that shut our member."

Also Read: 7 doctors get kidnap threats in Ekiti State - NMA

"The warning strike beginning from February 4, will last for three days and if after the expiration of three days, the person who shut at our colleague fails to come out, doctors will start an indefinite strike action," Akukwu said.

He urged the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Solomon Arase to compel the Commissioner of Police in the state, Taiwo Lakanu , to produce the culprit who perpetrated the act.

Akukwu further urged President Muhammadu Buhari to thoroughly investigate the matter.

The media learnt that the march was organised by the NMA in Imo, to protest what they described as the "anti-life" policies of Gov. Rochas Okorocha.

The march was said to have started from the NMA office on Port Harcourt Road, Owerri at about 12 noon.

It was gathered that when the doctors got to Orlu Road junction, Owerri, anti-riot police in about 10 Hilux vans started throwing tear gas canisters on the group during which a gun was suspected to have been fired, which injured the doctor.

"It was in the process of tear gassing of the group that Dr Bede Azudiaro fell down and raised alarm that he had been shot in the head, with blood gushing from his head.

Earlier, the state chairman of NMA, Dr Hyacinth Emele, had told journalists that the association was protesting against the concessioning of public health institutions by the state government.

Also Read:Strike paralyses Lagos hospitals

"Despite NMA repeated advice, government went ahead to concession virtually all the state public health institutions from primary to tertiary (health centre, general hospitals and Imo State Specialist Hospitals, and Imo State University Teaching Hospital) and their management."

"The state will stand to lose completely from the assistance of donor agencies and partners like the WHO, UNICEF, UNFPA, World Bank, Global Fund among others that sponsor immunization, malaria, tuberculosis, family planning and HIV/AIDS services to these institutions."

The NMA chairman equally condemned it and the appointment of a non-doctor as Commissioner of Health and the merging of Ministry of Health and Women Affairs by Okorocha.

Emele also decried the use of armed thugs to attack workers at their duty posts.

"The use of task force to regulate medical practice in Imo is against Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria."

The NMA chairman raised alarm over the illicit harvesting and trafficking of human organs currently on going in the state. "Lives of residents of Imo State are at great risk over this evil practice."

When contacted, the PPRO in the state (DSP) Andrew Enwerem said that the police only used tear gas to disperse the protesting doctors when they became riotous.

"Police did not shoot anybody and nobody who is shot on the head will ever remain alife."

"Let them produce a doctor’s report to confirm that it was a real case of shooting in the head. Anybody can pick any blood stained material from anywhere and claim that he was shot," Enwerewhe said.



Read more from our Users

Nigeria @ 56: Words to my green f...

A leader’s job is not to dictate, but rather to be respected, admired and be a trustee, of the land we love, with so much potential, a land which should be freer than free. Its still a long way to fufilling our destiny! Read more...

Submitted by
Isaac Asabor263
Recession: An opportunity for Nig...

The recession should be seen as an opportunity for the country’s promotion as long as we all collectively conduct ourselves in a patriotic manner, writes Isaac Asabor.  Read more...

Submitted by
Black and White

We want to imitate the whites in everything because we are ignorant of our inherent originality and content. We spend all our Naira to acquire his inventions because we so oblivious of our natural endowments that we allow him have it for free. Read more...

Submitted by
Nate Nat
Adamawa State University Mubi: A ...

ADSU integrity forum has accused the Sunday Joshua Wugira, a lawyer, of adopting unorthodox tactics by abusing his privilege by attacking the integrity of ADSU Vice Chancellor Dr. Moses Zira Zaruwa, writes a News24 reader. Read more...

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
My Country Nigeria (Part One)

Poetry by Abdulsalam Jubril.

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
Recession, dearth in leadership a...

Every leader has the opportunity to become great and making himself immortal in the lives and hearts of people for generations to come. Will Mr. President seize this opportunity?, questions Abdulsalam Jubril. Read more...