Hundreds of hapless patients who had converged from different parts of Osisioma Local Government Area of Abia State, were Sunday, frustrated when a team of medics coming to attend to them were prevented by a group of armed youths suspected to be thugs from accessing the venue of the exercise.
The ongoing free medical/surgical outreach was sponsored by the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, Professor Greg Ibe.
According to sources close to the APGA candidate, the fierce-looking armed youths suspected to be political thug of a governorship candidate from the area stopped the 50-man from gaining entry into the Abayi Council Hall, venue of the free medical outreach.
According to the source, the violent youths claimed that they had earlier booked the venue for a celebration of New Yam festival.
But upon inquiries, the source continued, it was gathered that the said event by the youths was rather scheduled for a date in September.
Coordinator of the Prof Gregory Ibe Medical and Surgical Outreach, Dr Ojum Ogwo, who confirmed the incident, said that every plea to the youths to allow the medics entry to the hall to attend to waiting patients fell on deaf ears.
He regretted that not even the health conditions of the innocent patients moved the thugs, describing the sad development as strange.
“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.