One shot as police, doctors clash in Owerri

The conflict between the Nigeria Medical Association, Imo State Chapter and the state government over the concession of Health Institutions in the state intensified on Thursday when a renowned Consultant Family Physician, Dr. Bede Azudialor, was allegedly shot by the police.

Dr. Bede, a staff of the Federal Medical Centre Owerri was allegedly shot in the head by a yet- to-be identified police officer during a protest rally in Owerri by the NMA against what was described as “anti-life policies” of the state government.

It was gathered that the victim was first rushed to the emergency unit of the FMC Owerri from where he was moved to the Intensive Care Unit and later ferried to an undisclosed hospital.

The State Chairman of the Nigerian Guild of Doctors, Dr. Darlington Akukwu who briefed journalists on the incident at the NMA secretariat in Owerri thereafter announced a three-day warning strike by doctors in the state in protest against the alleged police brutality of their colleague.

He called on the Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Solomon Arase to compel the Commissioner of Police in the state, Taiwo Lakanu to produce the culprit, who perpetrated the act, just as he pleaded with President Muhammadu Buhari for a thorough investigation of the matter.

Dr. Akukwu warned that failure to produce the trigger-happy police officer would provoke an indefinite strike by the NMA in Imo state.

When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer 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 alive,” he said.

“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.”

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