Police turn medical doctors back on Akwa Ibom roads -- NMA

Police officers enforcing the lockdown in Akwa Ibom State, on Monday, reportedly prevented several authorised persons, including medical doctors, from driving through major roads in Uyo.

The police tightened their operation on the roads after some officers were reportedly reprimanded by the state commissioner of police over the number of cars and people seen moving freely in the city, a source told PREMIUM TIMES.

The police commissioner, Imohimi Edgal, was seen on Monday afternoon pulling over on one of the major roads to address some police officers manning a checkpoint. Immediately Mr Edgal drove away, the officers turned back all the vehicles that were lining up to pass the checkpoint.

“The policemen told all the cars to go back that they have instruction from the commissioner of police not to allow anybody to be on the road. There was even an ambulance, they also ordered it to go back,” one witness said.

Angry union

The Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), Akwa Ibom State, said in a statement that “most of their members could not go to work because of the development.”

“Today at about midday, the State Officers Committee led by the Chairman, Dr Nsikak Nyoyoko while on official duty to the University of Uyo Teaching Hospital (UUTH) to distribute PPEs was denied passage along Udo Udoma Avenue by Aka road round about by men of the Nigerian Police Force purportedly on orders from ‘above’,” the NMA said in the statement signed by its state chairman, Mr Nyoyoko.

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“This ugly incident was preceded by numerous calls by our members of having been refused passage at different points in Uyo metropolis.

“To this end, NMA-AKS advises all her members that in the event of being denied passage while on your way to work, please be civil, do not resist, but return home and notify your superior at work,” Mr Nyoyoko said.

PREMIUM TIMES could not immediately get the police reaction on this, as the police spokesperson in the state, Nnudam Fredrick, did not respond to calls to his phone line.

“All medical doctors are already on automatic pass (on Akwa Ibom roads), once you can identify yourself as a medical doctor,” the attorney general of Akwa Ibom state, Uwemedimo Nwoko, told PREMIUM TIMES.

A police officer was demoted earlier this month from the rank of a sergeant to corporal for assaulting a surgeon in Uyo. The police commissioner later apologised to doctors in Akwa Ibom over the conduct of the erring police officer.

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Source: Police turn medical doctors back on Akwa Ibom roads — NMA

By Cletus Ukpong

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