By Achike Uchenna, Owerri

 

Scores of protesting medical doctors sustained severe gunshot wounds when a detachment of armed policemen opened fire on them while on a peaceful protest to the Imo State Government House over concessioning of Public Hospitals in the State.

Tragedy as doctors’ protest turns bloody in Imo

By Achike Uchenna, Owerri

 

Scores of protesting medical doctors sustained severe gunshot wounds when a detachment of armed policemen opened fire on them while on a peaceful protest to the Imo State Government House over concessioning of Public Hospitals in the State.

 

One of the victims, Dr Bede Azudiaro, is currently receiving treatment at the Intensive Care Unit of the Federal Medical Center Owerri as at the time of filling this report.

 

But the Police denied shooting at the protesting doctors.

 

The Deputy Commissioner of Police, Dave Akeremi, while reacting to the development, said that the Medical Doctors had applied to the Police to hold a peaceful protest that will end at the Freedom Square and not the Government House.

 

He said that at a point it was noticed that hoodlums had hijacked the protest and were trying to force their way to the Government House.

 

Narrating the incident to newsmen, State Chairman of Guild of Nigerian Doctors, Dr Darlington Akukwu said that the Doctors who were embarking on a “one-day protest rally against the anti life policies of the Imo State Government”, were ambushed by armed Policemen at the Orlu Junction, we’re they were prevented from continuing with the protest.

 

According to him, “Before we commenced the rally, we wrote the Police, the DSS and the Federal Road Safety about the protest. But this morning as we were marching to the Government House to register our grievances, we were stopped by armed Policemen at Orlu roundabout. They barricaded the road and said that we cannot continue with the protest”.

 

He continued that, “We were peaceful in our conduct as law abiding citizens but while we were still asking to know why the Police barricaded our way,  three heavily armed Policemen came from nowhere and opened fire on us.  At that point we started calling the Commissioner of Police but he refused to pick his calls. We are calling on the IGP to produce those that shot our members”.

 

Meanwhile in a communiqué signed by the State Chairman of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), Dr Emele Hyacinth, the body condemned the “use of taskforce by the State Government to regulate medical practice as against the provisions of the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria (MDCN).” 

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