Maduako Igbokwe l Sunday, October 30, 2022
AWKA, Anambra, Nigeria – Traditional Medicine Practitioners in Anambra State in collaboration with Anambra State Traditional Medicine Board members and ex-officials of the Board have raised alarm over alleged extortion of about N200 million from its licensed members by an alleged fake medical practitioner, Daniel Ejie.
They alleged that Daniel Ejie co-formed an illegal agency called Indigenous Medicine and Herbal Practice to extort money from members.
They alleged that Ejie is neither a medical doctor nor a traditional medicine practitioner contrary to his claims but that he operates from the office of former SA on Indigenous Medicine and Herbal Practice to the immediate past governor.
Addressing journalists at a press conference in Awka, at the weekend, Chairman Peace and Conflict Resolution, Anambra State Traditional Medicine practitioners, Abada Benson and Secretary of the association, Chief Patrick Ihionu, alleged that Ejie has collected about N200 million from practitioners without providing account to the government or even to the Traditional Medicine Board.
Abada Benson alleged that Ejie inaugurated a false board of Traditional Medicine which only the governor has the right to inaugurate based on Anambra State Traditional Medicine Board Edict No 2 1994.
According to him, other allegations include issuance of a false ID Card and form without the authority of Anambra State Traditional Medicine Board which is not in line with Anambra State Traditional Medicine Board Edict; establishment of a board without involving the Pharmaceutical Department under the State Ministry of Health which is not in line with Anambra State Traditional Medicine Board Edict”.
He further alleged that Ejie with his team are extorting money from the Traditional Medicine Practitioners, without issuing them receipts and that the money is supposed to be paid into Anambra State Government Account.
He also alleged that Ejie took away the budget head of Traditional Medicine from the State Ministry of Health under the Pharmaceutical Department.
“All the budget money for Traditional Medicine is always embezzled by Mr. Daniel Ejie and his team” He commended Governor Chukwuma Soludo for his good performance in the state especially in the area of security, and promised to work with Anambra State Government through the State Ministry of Health.
“Therefore, we are using this medium to inform our able Governor to call Mr. Daniel Ejie to order and also we want to inform the Governor and the general public that Mr. Daniel Ejie is neither a medical doctor nor a traditional medicine practitioner which he claims to be, …we the Traditional Medicine Practitioners will not work with his false agency, come rain, come sun” he said .
Commenting further, Abada who also is the Chairman, Traditional Medicine Practitioners, Njikoka branch, explained that they collaborate with staff of Anambra State Ministry of Health which issues members with license after registration, lamenting that the Indigenous Medicine and Herbal Practice have now imposed and collect with threat the sum of N11,000 from each member of the Traditional Medicine Practitioners across the state.
“The indigenous medicine and Herbal Practice task force invade our members homes or offices, harass, intimidate and extort money from them. We are aggrieved and that’s why we are protesting. We don’t know this indigenous medicine and Herbal Practice/task force.
“We urge the state government to stop this task force disrupting our activities and humanitarian duties to the public”, he noted.
Abada however said they have complained about the development to the state government through the office of Chief of Staff and are expecting the governors’ intervention in the matter.
Secretary of the Association, Chief Patrick Ihionu said further: “We are ready for him and we shall challenge him in the court of law. Moreso, we hereby call on the Inspector General of Police to arrest him for his atrocities against the Traditional Medicine Practitioners.
“We call on our able Governor to set up a committee that will investigate Mr. Daniel Ejie concerning the money he extorted from the practitioners and also to investigate budget money they embezzled for years and they used the office of the former SA on Indigenous Medicine and Herbal Practice to the immediate past Governor.
“We ask our Governor to inaugurate Traditional Medicine Board to enable us stop the quacks and to fight those that use Traditional Medicine to commit atrocities in Anambra State”.
However, some members of Traditional Medicine Practitioners, including Paul Obanikolo, from Nimo presented a receipt of N10,000, being ‘membership form’ with heading: Anambra State Indigenous Medicine and Herbal Practice among others.
We made spirited efforts to speak to Daniel Ejie on the issue but his phone number was either switched off or not responding neither did he respond to text messages.