By Nathan Ohiomokhare

The security risks inherent in guaranteeing universal health coverage have once again been brought to the fore as a group comprising eight Primary Healthcare workers from Oredo Local Government Area have been rescued by the Special Ant-Kidnaping squad Of the Nigeria Police Force in Edo state. The Health workers were rescued just as they were being taken to a kidnaping hideout.

Nigeria Police Anti Kidnaping Squad Mobilizing

The Health workers from Oredo Local Government Area of Edo state had gone to Umegbe Village to carry out a vaccination excercise and were returning back when they were abducted by armed bandits along Umegbe road by Iyekogba river of Benin City. The kidnappers had positioned themselves along the road proximate to the river in wait for unsuspecting victims. The bus conveying the health worked was intercepted by the daredevil and heavily armed kidnapers. The hostages were then forcefully led into the river where a boat was parked to convey the victims.

Nigeria Policemen entering a gun battle

Unfortunately for the kidnapers a Police anticrime squad on patrol along the road spotted the victims being forced into the river. On sighting the Police the Kidnappers quickly opened fire. A gun battle ensued and as the police took defensive positions and tacticaly responded, engaging the kidnapers by the river. According to the Edo State Police spokesman Chidi Nwabuzor some of the Kidnappers escaped into the river with Bullet wounds.

During the rescue operation a suspect 32 year old Julius Apay was arrested at the scene as part of the kidnaping syndicate. The syndicate operates within the area by abducting victims by boat and transporting them to their criminal hideout pending demand for ransom. The victims are usualy ferried to an unknown destination through Ogba river in Benin. Julius Apay is to be arraigned before a court as soon as the Police complete their investigation.

As Nigeria gears towards mass vaccination against the dreaded Corona Virus the security situation in the rural communities poses a huge risk to ensuring adequate coverage of some hard to reach communities should the federal government decide to rollout vaccination excercises in these communities.

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