The President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.)

Buhari orders security beef-up in Anambra hospitals

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The President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), on Friday directed that security around hospitals in Anambra State be beefed up against the kidnap of newborns.

The PUNCH had reported that some gunmen attacked a maternity hospital in Nkpologwu in Aguata Local Government Area of Anambra State on Tuesday, taking away four newborns.

In a Friday statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, the President ordered security operatives to get to the root of the matter.

The statement titled ‘President Buhari directs law enforcement agencies to solve Anambra babies’ kidnap’ read, “President Muhammadu Buhari has expressed shock over the reported kidnapping of five newborn babies in Anambra State, directing that the rising crime rate in the areas be reduced without any delay.

“The reported kidnapping occurred at Stanley Hospital, Nkpologwu, in the state. The attackers picked the babies and zoomed off. In expressing his concern about the strange incident, President Buhari said this case must be solved immediately. He directed that security at hospitals must be foolproof so that attacks of this nature do not happen again.”

Meanwhile, the Chief Medical Director of the National Medical Centre, Nkpologwu, Dr Stanley Izuehie, said contrary to reports, gunmen did not take away four children from its facility.

He stressed that it was robbers that invaded the hospital and snatched handsets and other valuables from patients.  Izuehie, while dismissing the reports of stealing of babies, said the robbery incident happened two weeks ago.

He noted that after the robbers snatched the items from the patients, they ran away on sighting security operatives advancing towards the hospital.

He said, “The information that gunmen stormed the hospital and took four babies is unfounded, untrue and should be disregarded. A lot of people, including the state governor, the Inspector General of Police, and the Commissioner of Police have shown interest in this matter and I hope it will be properly addressed.

“The truth is that two weeks ago, there was a robbery attack in the hospital, and the robbers took away (several) phones and other valuables from the patients. They did not go with any baby, so that aspect should be disregarded by the public.”

In a swift reaction, the President General of Nkpologwu Progressive Union, Dr Ferdinand Ezeiruka, said the source who claimed to have witnessed the incident, misinformed the public.

Ezeiruka said, “Such a thing did not happen in my community. Nkpologwu is a small town; any such thing that happens will spread quickly. So, it did not happen. Nkpologwu is a peaceful town; this kind of rumoured development did not happen here. The medical director of the said hospital is my friend. There is no way such a thing would happen without him relaying the information to me.”


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