An atmosphere of fear and apprehension gripped the tight-knit community of Enugu as a group of armed individuals seized Dr. Orockarrah Orock, a dedicated resident doctor affiliated with the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital (UNTH) located in Ituku-Ozalla, Enugu State. The incident occurred on a fateful Saturday, sending shockwaves through the region.
Dr. Orock, a committed member of the Anaesthesia Department, was going about his duties within the hospital premises when the harrowing event unfolded. It was a night shift when the kidnappers struck, ambushing him while he was on duty.
The doctor’s resilience shone through when he managed to escape his captors near Four-Corners Junction, situated along the Enugu-Port Harcourt highway. This daring escape became possible thanks to the timely intervention of local vigilante operatives who rushed to his aid on a Sunday morning.
The motive behind Dr. Orock’s abduction appeared to be intertwined with the disruption of food supplies to the hospital. Vendors had halted their services due to unpaid bills by the hospital management, forcing medical personnel to venture outside in search of sustenance, a move fraught with potential dangers.
News of Dr. Orock’s kidnapping spread like wildfire among the hospital staff, sowing panic and unease within their ranks. The gunmen had infiltrated the hospital premises, taking cover near the Catholic chapel within the facility, before pursuing the resident doctor once they spotted his Toyota SUV.
An eyewitness shared, “He was on call and was driving out of the hospital gate, apparently to pick something when the men accosted him. The gunmen had entered the premises and hid near the Catholic church. They saw him, masked themselves, and raced after him, shooting until he stopped and they abducted him. If there were food supply to the doctors, the guy would not have tried to leave his duty post to buy food. We are apprehensive about the new development at the UNTH.”
In a positive turn of events, the hospital’s Public Relations Officer, Uchelue Boniface, confirmed Dr. Orock’s escape and rescue by security operatives, bringing much-needed relief. Boniface said, “I can confirm to you that he has been rescued after he escaped and ran into security operatives. He will rejoin his family soon. We had prayed all night for his rescue.”
The hospital management, in a statement signed by Boniface, had previously informed the workforce about Dr. Orock’s abduction and sought their cooperation to ensure the hospital’s continued operation.
The President of the Association of Resident Doctors (ARD), Dr. Chinazom Ekwueme, expressed gratitude for Dr. Orock’s safe return, while acknowledging the growing insecurity. Dr. Ekwueme explained their comprehensive efforts to ensure his rescue and their ongoing collaboration with law enforcement agencies to bring the abductors to justice.
As for the Enugu State Police, the spokesperson, Daniel Ndukwe, stated that he was yet to receive a detailed briefing on the matter. The incident underscores the need for increased security measures and vigilance within the Enugu community.