Four executives members of the Ondo State branch of the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA) were on Wednesday detained by the Department of State Service (DSS) for allegedly petitioning the State Police over threat to their lives.
They were the NMA Chairman, Dr. Bamidele Betiku, his Secretary, Dr. Elekwachi Gabriel, Chairman National Association of Government General Medical Doctor Pratictitioners (NAGGMDP), Gbenga Dokini and his Secretary, Busari Ismaila.
It was learnt that they were invited for a chat on the petition written to the police Tuesday morning, but got detained at the DSS headquarters without reason.
Doctors in the state were said to have gone on a three-day strike early last month over non-payment of their salaries.
During the strike period, their executives were said to have been receiving threat messages prompting their action on petitioning the State Police Commissioner.
A source within the NMA said, “we were planning to go on an indefinite strike today (yesterday) when the DSS invited our leaders for a chat and at the process, they were detained.
“Up till now, the DSS has not come out to tell us the reason why they were detained and they have not been released as I am talking to you”.
Confirming their arrest at an emergency press conference held at the NMA Secretariat in Akure, the state Capital, the State Chairman, Medical and Dental Consultant Association of Nigerian, (MDCAN), Dr. Stella Adegbehingbe ordered his colleagues to immediately embark on an indefinite strike until at least two months arrears of the five months outstanding salaries were paid.
She, however, condemned the detention of their leaders calling for their immediate release.
Another official of the NMA, who does not want his name mentioned, alleged that the DSS officers were becoming tools in the hands of the state government.
However, All efforts to speak with the Director of Information with the DSS in the state proved abortive as all his lines were unavailable as at the time of filing this report.