Soldiers enforcing Ekiti lockdown embarrassing us — Doctors

The Chairman, Nigeria Medical Association, Ekiti State, Dr Tunji Omotayo, on Monday accused soldiers drafted to enforce the lockdown order in the state of embarrassing doctors on assignment.

Omotayo, who alleged that soldiers enforcing the lockdown order were not treating doctors with dignity at checkpoints, called on the authorities to caution them.

The NMA chairman, who narrated his ordeals in the hand of the soldiers at the road barricade at Fajuyi area of Ado Ekiti on his way to the Ekiti State University Teaching Hospital on the phone with our correspondent, said he had to abandon his vehicle at the place and find his way to the hospital.

He said, “When I got to the barricade, I expected them to ask for my identification card, but the soldiers said I should park and go inside the pavilion to meet somebody who I would show my ID card to.

“I could not understand that. I told them it was not right. The right thing was not to ask somebody to go inside the pavilion to meet somebody, you check the person’s ID card on the road. They insisted I had to go and meet that person. I did not go, so they didn’t allow me to pass. I left the vehicle there because I had something else to do at the hospital.

“They ought to check the person’s identity card, if the person is free to be on the road, they should allow him and if the person is not free, they should turn him back home. That is the proper thing to do.

“In fact, they asked a doctor, a medical practitioner at EKSUTH, to sit on the floor today (Monday). It was while on the floor that they checked his ID card and realized he is a doctor before they allowed him to go. The first thing they ought to have done was to identify him before they asked him to sit on bare floor.”

However, the Special Adviser on Security to Ekiti State Governor, Brig. Gen. Ebenezer Ogundana (retd.), said there was no deliberate attempt to embarrass doctors or anybody in the state.

Ogundana said, “It is not a deliberate effort to embarrass or inconvenience the doctors or anybody. It does not cost anything to show ID cards. We don’t have the names of the doctors with us and they don’t wear uniforms like nurses with which they could easily be identified.

 “We allow those people on essential services. My appeal is that they (those on essential duties) should be patient with the soldiers. It is the situation we are in, which is an emergency that brought out these people. We should bear with them and give them small courtesy.”
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