By Amos Aar
THE medical doctor at the General Hospital, Sankera in Ukum LGA of Benue State, Dr Asema Msuega, who was abducted on July 23, 2023 and had spent over a month in the hands of his abductors has be freed after he had allegedly paid a ransom.
The Benue State chapter of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) had on Wednesday, August 23, 2023, embarked on a 3-day warning strike, which ended on Friday. The NMA however extended its warning strike indefinitely with a threat to stage a protest on July 29, 2023 if the abductee was not freed.
Less than 24 hours after the NMA’s strike extension and threat to protest, Dr Msuega was released Friday night after an alleged payment of a ransom of N3.6 million was by his family, according to one of the victim’s colleagues who however pleaded anonymity.
Dr Msuega’s colleague confided in National Record that the victim was ‘abandoned’ around Ayati Village in Ukum LGA after a ransom of three million, one hundred and fifty thousand naira (N3,150,000.) was paid by his family.
“The ransom was paid installmentally. The family first paid N1.5 million. It was the last N600,000 they paid that led to the release of the victim,” Msuega’s colleague said.
Following the release of the abductee, the NMA state chairman, Dr Usha Anenga, announced the suspension of the indefinite strike.
Anenga, who asked doctors working in public hospitals in the state to resume work immediately, however, directed those working in Ukum LGA to leave their workplaces until further notice.
He expressed appreciation to Governor Hyacinth Alia, the police, NMA Secretariat and Benue people for their efforts which led to the release of Dr Msuega.