A group of armed teenagers believed to be thugs stopped a team of medics from entering the location of the exercise on Sunday, frustrating hundreds of helpless patients who had gathered from various locations in the Osisioma Local Government Area of Abia State.
The All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, governorship candidate Professor Greg Ibe funded the ongoing free medical/surgical outreach.
The 50-man was prevented from entering the Abayi Council Hall, the location of the free medical outreach, according to sources close to the APGA candidate. The fierce-looking armed youngsters were thought to be political thugs of a governorship candidate from the region.
The belligerent adolescents allegedly stated that they had previously reserved the location for a New Yam festival party.
However, the source said, it was discovered through inquiry that the youths' alleged celebration was actually planned for a day in September.
Dr. Ojum Ogwo, the coordinator of the Prof Gregory Ibe Medical and Surgical Outreach, who confirmed the occurrence, claimed that all of the youths' requests for them to let the doctors into the hall to treat waiting patients were ignored.
He regretted that not even the innocent patients' health problems could faze the thugs, calling the unfortunate development odd.
“The youths frustrated every effort to resolve the issue, threatening that they were directed by a governorship candidate to attack the medical team if they insisted on continuing with the exercise”.
He explained that the frustrated medical team later withdrew to a safe place in Aba, taking with them the medical supplies meant for Osisioma.
Dr Ogwo expressed disappointment that politicians out of desperation for power could put their subjects’ life at risk describing it as politics taken too far.
He recalled that the free medical outreach is a social intervention programme initiated by Professor Ibe since 1991 to give indigent members of society opportunity of receiving free quality medi-care.
The Head of the team disclosed that no fewer than 10,000 persons had benefited from the ongoing 2022 edition of the exercise which started on August 2nd.
According to him over 3,500 eye glasses have also been distributed in 12 Local Government Areas so far covered since the exercise started.
The free medical outreach targeted at 20,000 patients is to go round all 17 LGAs in the state.