Soldiers suspected to be attached to the 3 Battalion Nigerian Army, Effurun, Delta State, on Saturday allegedly brutalised a medical doctor and ordered him to swim and bathe inside a gutter full of dirty water.
The soldiers, who were said to be enforcing the state government’s curfew, SaharaReporters gathered, confronted the medical doctor, Raphael Onyemekehia, a consultant physician, at Effurun, Uvwie Local Government Area of the state, at about 10:30am and despite introducing himself and showing his identity card, he was allegedly brutalised and ordered to swim and bathe inside the dirty gutter in the area.
It was gathered that the inhuman act, which attracted outrage from members of the public, was done at gunpoint while the victim was going to work.
The state governor, Ifeanyi Okowa, had exempted essential workers including medical personnel while imposing a 48-hour curfew across the state to curb violence in the city following the wanton destruction of properties by thugs, who hijacked the peaceful #EndSARS protest.
Our correspondent learnt that all efforts by Onyemekehia to explain to the soldiers that medical personnel were exempted from the curfew fell on deaf ears and the soldiers forced him into the gutter to swim and bathe after being threatened with a gun.
According a source, who witnessed the scenario, Onyemekehia spent close to 30 minutes swimming and bathing in the gutter while the soldiers watched on before he was saved by a senior military officer, who freed him.
Meanwhile the Delta State chapter of the Nigeria Medical Association, has threatened to embark on indefinite strike if the Nigerian Army failed to identify, fish out and prosecute those, who perpetrated the act to serve as deterrent to other soldiers.
Chairman of the NMA in the state, Emmanuel Nwose, who confirmed the ugly incident, condemned in its entirely the act, saying that the association had since briefed the state governor of the development.
He said, “Dr Raphael Onyemekehia, a consultant physician, reported to us that on his way to work, he was confronted at Airport Junction, Effurun, by some unidentified soldiers that he has violated the state government curfew imposes by the state governor. At this point he introduced himself and showed them his ID but they didn’t listen to him. The next thing was they started beating him, and was ordered to enter the gutter to swim and bath.
“As he was swimming in the gutter he was being brutalised until a senior army officer came and saw them maltreating him and saved him. We can no longer accept this over bearing attitude of some of this overzealous uniform men. Enough of all this nonsense by all these uniform men. We are doctors and as doctors we are essential workers because of the kind of services we render as such when curfew are imposed we are exempted.”
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