Tension in Enugu as gunmen kidnap UNTH doctor on his way to buy food 

A resident doctor, attached to the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital (UNTH), Ituku-Ozalla, Enugu State, Dr Orockarrah Orock, was last Saturday abducted by gunmen operating as kidnappers.

It was learnt that Dr. Orock attached to the Anaesthesia Department was on Saturday night kidnapped within the hospital premises, while on duty.

Dr. Orock however escaped from captivity around Four-Corners Junction, Enugu through the help of vigilante operatives on the Enugu-Port Harcourt highway on Sunday morning.

His abduction followed the stoppage of food supply to the hospital by vendors over non-payment by the hospital management, a development that has since forced the doctors and other medical staff to go outside to buy food at the risk of their safety.

The development has created tension among workers of the hospital when the news filtered in that Orock was abducted at about 6:30p.m. 

It was gathered that the gunmen entered the hospital premises and hid near the Catholic chapel within the facility, and chased after the resident doctor on sighting his Toyota SUV.

A source said: “He was on call and was driving out of the hospital gate, apparently to pick something, when the men accosted him. 

“The gunmen had actually entered the premises and hid near the Catholic church. They saw him, masked themselves and raced after him, shooting until he stopped and they abducted him.

“If there was food supply to the doctors, the guy would not have tried to leave his duty post to buy food. We are really worried about the new development at the UNTH”.

Public Relations Officer of the hospital, Uchelue Boniface, confirmed on Sunday afternoon, that Orock escaped from his abductors around Four Corners, on the Enugu-Port Harcourt highway, and ran into vigilante operatives.

“I can confirm to you that he has been rescued after he escaped and ran into security operatives. He will rejoin his family soon. We had prayed all night for his rescue,” Boniface said.

Before his escape, a statement by the hospital management, signed by Boniface, had notified the workers about Orock’s abduction and craved their cooperation to ensure smooth running of the hospital.

Reacting in Monday, President, Association of Resident Doctors (ARD), Dr Chinazom Ekwueme said: “All glory to God for the safety of Dr. Orockarrah Orock. He escaped from his abductors Sunday morning and we were able to locate him and pick him up safely. He has been reunited with his family.

“We are thankful for his safety but it does not remove the fact that none of us is safe anymore. We took prompt and precise actions that included proper notification to hospital management, establishment of collaborative partnership with his family for his search and activation of relevant security apparatus. We are still working with the Department of State Services (DSS) and Police to see that these abductors are brought to book. 

“We would communicate further updates shortly and a notice for an Emergency Congress meeting for a holistic review and input of the Congress of ARD UNTH on this ugly development would be out in due course”.

When contacted, spokesperson for Enugu State Police Command Officer, Daniel Ndukwe, said he was yet to be briefed on the matter.

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