Resident Doctors in the University of Uyo Teaching Hospital (UUTH) Akwa Ibom, have threatened to down tools in the state over allege assault on one of their members by a security operative.
This was contained in a statement, jointly signed by its President, Dr Paul Walshak, Secretary, Dr Ekemini Bassey and Publicity Secretary, Dr Ekomobong Udoh and made available to newsmen in Uyo on Sunday.
The association condemned the brutalisation of Dr David Daniel Edet, while going to work.
According to it, the police Sgt. Alexander Edidiong, allegedly refused to let Dr Edet pass the road block mounted along Nung Oku junction to enforce the restriction of movement order.
It added that in spite of the fact that Edet produced his valid means of identification as a medical doctor on duty, the police sergeant still went ahead to assault the medical doctor.
“Despite appropriately identifying himself as a doctor with his Identity card and stating he was on his way to the hospital, Sgt. Alexander Edidiong, refused to let him pass the road block mounted along Nung Oku junction.
“To enforce the restriction of movement order issued by the Akwa Ibom government which clearly exempts healthcare care workers on essential duties.
“Dr David Daniel Edet continued to impress on Sgt. Alexander Edidiong on the need to allow him go to perform his essential duty but instead, the officer got angry and using a big stick, struck Dr David on his left forearm leading to a fracture of the left ulna bone and dislocation of the left wrist which were confirmed by X-rays obtained last night.
“Based on the foregoing and following the resolutions of an emergency Exco meeting of the association of resident doctors, UUTH, we hereby make the following demands on the Nigerian police.
“They issue within the next 48 hours, a public release apologising on the action of their officer and, guaranteeing the safety and freedom from molestation of our members who will be required to move around providing much needed healthcare services at this time.
“Publicly discipline the police officer who brutalised Dr Edet.
“Adequately compensate Dr Edet for the impact of the injuries he sustained on his career and defray the cost of all the medical bills that will be incurred in the course of his treatment,” it stated.
It also urged the police authority to commence the process of performing a psychiatry evaluation to determine the mental fitness of its officers and men that would be stationed at various road blocks in the state to save innocent public.
The association also said they would be left with no other option than to direct all their members not to report at work, remain in their houses including those volunteers at the state’s COVID-19 isolation centres as the safety of their lives could not be guaranteed.
However, in a statement issued by Police Public Relations Officer, Akwa Ibom Police Command, Mr Nnudam Fredrick, said the police sergeant had faced orderly room trial and was found guilty and demoted to the rank of a corporal.
He said the Commissioner of Police, CP Imohimi Edgal, had met with the leadership of Nigeria Medical Association and Association of Resident Doctors over the incident.
“The erring officer who has been in detention, was subjected to orderly room trial in line with the Police Act and Regulations and was found guilty by the adjudicating officer.
“The orderly room proceeding was reviewed and he was reduced in rank from Sergeant to Corporal,” he said.
He said the CP has directed all Area Commanders and DPOs to effectively supervise their officers and men, and warned them to discharge their duties professionally as any further act of indiscipline would be met with unpalatable consequences.