The activities of kidnappers, robbers and cultists continued to take its toll on residents of Delta State on Wednesday as medical doctors, university lecturers and oil workers embarked on strike.

The action of the doctors, lecturers and the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, followed the abduction of their members at various locations in the state.

The doctors are demanding the release of their colleague, Dr. Ngozi Chukwuebulim, attached to Warri Central Hospital, who was kidnapped in the early hours of Sunday, while the oil workers are asking for the release of the Warri Area Manager of the Pipelines and Products Marketing Company, Mr. Williams Enoh, who was kidnapped on Saturday.

A soldier attached to the Joint Task Force, who was serving as a guard to the PPMC manager was shot dead in the operation.

Already, the strike has resulted in the shutting down of filling stations in Warri.

Members of the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria and National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers in Warri Refinery and Petrochemical Company, and Warri Area Office of PPMC have also withdrawn their services.

The Nigeria Union of Journalists is also planning a protest against the general insecurity in the state, especially the abduction of a journalist, Mr. Monday Whiskey, last week.

The Warri Central Hospital has also been shut down, while it was gathered that the kidnappers of the doctor are demanding N100m before releasing her.

Meanwhile, the Speaker of the Delta State House of Assembly , Mr. Victor Ochei, was conspicuously absent at yesterday's session of the House which was presided over by the Deputy Speaker, Mr. Basil Ganagana.

The Speaker, it was gathered, was still battling to make contacts with the abductors of his younger brother, Tobechukwu, on Tuesday in Asaba.

But the Speaker's Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Eddy Akpati-Ogude, said the speaker went for another ''official assignment'' and asked the deputy to preside for him.
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