We’re no longer safe work­ing in N’east – Nurses

The Punch - - NEWS - James Abra­ham, Jos

NURSES in Plateau State say they are no longer safe work­ing in the North-east.

Boko Haram has wreaked havoc in the North-east, par­tic­u­larly in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe states, since its in­cep­tion in 2002.

Ad­dress­ing a press con­fer­ence in Jos on Mon­day, the chair­man of the Plateau State chap­ter of the Na­tional As­so­ci­a­tion of Nige­ria Nurses and Mid­wives, Mrs Briskila Dabit, lamented that a num­ber of nurses had ei­ther been killed or ab­ducted by Boko Haram fight­ers.

Dabit said the sit­u­a­tion must be ur­gently ad­dressed if nurses were to con­tinue to ren­der hu­man­i­tar­ian ser­vices in the re­gion.

She said, “As a pro­fes­sional body, we are not happy about the fre­quent abduction of our col­leagues in the North-east, the re­cent be­ing that of Jen­nifer Sa­muel Ukam­bong, an aide worker at­tached to the Al­liance for In­ter­na­tional Med­i­cal Ac­tion. She was kid­napped on De­cem­ber 22, 2019, and has not been re­leased by the ter­ror­ists.

“Ac­cord­ing to our find­ings, quite a num­ber of aid work­ers in the North-east are ei­ther cit­i­zens of Plateau State or at­tended school in our dear state. Re­cently, we re­ceived some of Jen­nifer Ukam­bong’s col­leagues in Jos, who lamented how they felt un­safe work­ing in the North­east.”

De­scrib­ing the sit­u­a­tion as un­ac­cept­able, the nurses called on Gov­er­nor Si­mon La­long, who is the chair­man of the North­ern Gover­nors’ Fo­rum, to use his po­si­tion to se­cure the un­con­di­tional re­lease of Jen­nifer and other Nige­ri­ans still in Boko Haram cap­tiv­ity.

They also called on the gov­ern­ment to look into the ac­tiv­i­ties of in­ter­na­tional or­gan­i­sa­tions re­cruit­ing Nige­ri­ans to work in the North­east with a view of en­sur­ing that they com­plied with in­ter­na­tional best safety stan­dards.

Dabit said, “The emo­tional and psy­cho­log­i­cal stress our col­leagues are pass­ing through in the North-east are as a re­sult of un­em­ploy­ment in the state is un­ac­cept­able.

“We call on the state gov­ern­ment to lift em­ploy­ment em­bargo so that nurses can be re­cruited, while the Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment should pro­vide ad­e­quate se­cu­rity for aid work­ers that are ren­der­ing hu­man­i­tar­ian ser­vices in the North-east and other parts of Nige­ria.”

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