He went on a humanitarian mission but ended up receiving inhuman treatment.
A former chairman of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) in Edo State, Dr Philip Ugbodaga and two of his colleagues were on Friday kidnapped in Imo state where they had gone to render free medical services to some communities, courtesy of a friend.
The Morning Mail learnt that that Ugbodaga and his colleagues had hardly arrived at their base when they were forcefully taken away at gunpoint to an unknown destination.
The suspected kidnapers were yet to make any contact at press time.
It was reliably gathered that the incident happened at Isu local government near Umuaka when a vehicle ordered them to stop and picked Ugbodaga and the two other doctors.
Meanwhile, reactions have been trailing the incident as the Convener of Edo Focus, Aiyamenkhue Edokpolor a platform for political and socio-economic discuss about the state of which Ugbdaga is an active member, condemned the action. He called on the Inspector General of Police, Solomon Arase to swing into action and rescue the hostages and arrest the perpetrators.
He said: “The news of Dr. Phillip Ugbodaga’s kidnap came to us as a rude shock because apart from his easy-going lifestyle; he is an indefatigable advocate for the emancipation of the poor; the preservation of the rights of the oppressed Nigerians and health care provider for the vulnerable citizens of Edo and Nigeria. For us, there is certainly no justification for such a person to be kidnapped assuming the perpetrators consider moral grounds as a precursor for their action. However, we are appealing to the Inspector General of Police – Mr. Solomon Arase to deploy his professional expertise towards the safe and healthy release of our dear brother and comrade.”
Edokpolor added: “We condemn in the strongest term possible, the kidnap of Dr. Philip Ugbodaga; and while appealing to the Edo State Government to support the rescue campaign; we urge Edo youths to remain calm as the law enforcement agencies unravel the mystery behind this inhuman incident. We like to place on record that we will privately examine the factors and characters behind this ungodly incident, while pledging to sustain the culture of peaceful disposition; but we will not take kindly to the rumours that Fulani herdsmen are behind this nefarious gambit.”
The immediate past president of the NMA, Dr Osahon Enabulele who is also a member of the platform, said: “It’s really sad that our brother Dr Philip Ugbodaga was kidnapped by some faceless individuals. While I urge all to fervently pray for his speedy release, I commend all on-going efforts being made to secure his safe release. Undoubtedly, our brother’s kidnap is yet another reminder of the failure of the Nigerian State.”