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Psychiatric hospital workers protest kidnap of colleague

Published by Guardian on Wed, 18 Jan 2012

ACTIVITIES were yesterday grounded at the Federal Psychiatric Hospital, Uselu, Benin City, Edo State as workers of the hospital began a work-to-rule to protest the kidnap of a senior consultant in the hospital, Dr. Charles Ikeji.He was abducted last Thursday on his way to the office from Eworhiaria area of the city.Operating under the Joint Action Committee (JAC), the workers, led by Kennedy Osamwonyi, staged a peaceful protest round the hospital's premises and insisted they would not work until their colleague was released.Osamwonyi said: 'It is sad that we, who are rendering humanitarian services, have become victims of kidnap. Since they have now targeted us, we will not go to work until Ikeji is released. We only resumed duty, but will not attend to patients and anybody at all'.When contacted by The Guardian, the hospital's management was said to be meeting over the matter.Also, security operatives when contacted on the matter yesterday, refused to comment as they said their 'mode of operation is not for public consumption'.However, the wife of the abducted consultant, Augusta, said she had been battling to take care of the family of four children and appealed to the kidnappers to release her husband.'There is nothing I can do. I am just praying that God should touch their hearts', she told The Guardian yesterday.It was, however, learnt yesterday that abductors have raised their demand from the initial N2 million to N3 million.
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