The Nigerian Medical Association, has condemned the murder of Dr. Chike Akunyili, widower of the late information minister Dora Akunyili, describing it as unfortunate and an indication of misplaced value system in Nigeria where life does not matter anymore.
Dr. Akunyili, a renowned Enugu-based medical practitioner, was shot dead by gunmen on Tuesday on his way from the commemorative lecture in honour of his late wife, Dora.
The National Publicity Secretary of NMA, Dr. Aniekeme Uwah, in a statement titled, ‘One Death Too Many: We Weep For Nigeria,” issued on Friday in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State capital, wondered why such a skilled professional medical doctor should be murdered in cold blood at a period Nigeria is almost bleeding to death as a result of medics’ brain drain.
Dr Uwah, who stated that NMA was awaiting outcomes of security agencies’ investigations into the incident, charged the federal and state governments to live up to their core constitutional responsibilities of protecting the lives and properties of all Nigerians.
The statement reads in part: “The Nigerian Medical Association is deeply saddened by the gruesome murder in cold blood of one of her members, Dr Chike J Akunyili (Agbalanze), the widower of Late Prof Dora Akunyili, former Director General of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control.
“While the association awaits an official statement on investigations being conducted on the incidence by relevant security agencies, reports gathered from various news media indicate that this tragic incidence occurred while the victim was on his way from the commemorative lecture in honour of his late wife,Dora.
“The death of this highly skilled professional at a time the country’s health care delivery system is bleeding due to the dearth of Medical Doctors and other health care workers as a result of the unprecedented brain drain currently facing the country is a cause for deep concern.
“This condemnable incidence at a moment when the the country’s abysmally low Doctor: Patient ratio of 1: 6000 as against the WHO’s recommended 1: 600 is an indication of our misplaced value system as a people where human lives are not valued anymore.
“Furthermore, the association seriously frowns at the incessant loss of lives by Nigerians due to the worsening insecurity in various parts of the country, which also has untoward effects on the health care delivery system.
“The death of Dr Chike J. Akunyili is indeed one death too many and we therefore call on the Federal and State governments in Nigeria to live up to their core constitutional responsibilities of protecting the lives and properties of all Nigerians.
“We also urge the security agencies to do everything humanly possible to bring the perpetrators of this heinous crime to book to serve as a deterrent to others.”