Stories by Stanley Onyekwere
An Abuja based journalist, Festus Fifen Ejiroghene of Ben Television, London and five of his neighbours, were ransacked by dare devil armed robbers in Nyanya Gwandara, carting away his Toyota Camry and numerous other items worth millions of naira.
Several eyewitness accounts revealed that the robbers, numbering five, brandished guns and machetes, as they broke into the neighbourhood, at Power House, Nyanya Gwandara, Nasarawa State, in the early hours of penultimate week, and operated for almost an hour.
It was gathered that the robbers who did not seem to be in a hurry came back, after taking everything and demanded for the car key, threatening to take a wife life if there was no positive and prompt handover of the key.
And after snatching the car key, the robbers loaded it with all the items and zoomed off, only to stop on the way out of the close to rob another victim, this time a hotel, few meters away.
Narrating the incident, Ejiroghene revealed that other items stolen from him and about five of his neighbours include electronics such as flat screen TVs, home theatre, jewelries, large sums of money and clothing, among others.
“They have taken away everything we have worked for television, money, cloths, jewelries, phones and home theatre.
“They left our compound briefly and came back demanding for our car key and when I hesitated a bit, they threatened to cut me into two, so I hurriedly looked for it and gave it to them,” he said.
Another victim of the robbery attack, who pleaded anonymity, explained that five of them in the same house were forced into a toilet by the robbers and locked up after collecting all their monies, phones, plasma TV and all they could lay their hands on.
She however expressed displeasure over lack of response from neighbours, saying she expected all of them in the neighbourhood to come out simultaneously and challenge the ‘small boy criminals’.
According to her; “We also gathered that in an adjacent compound, an occupant, a middle-aged man had more than he bargained for, as unlike Mr. Ejiroghene and others he was attacked with a machete.
“He was seriously wounded on his head and hands when he came out following the noise generated from destruction of burglary proofs and cutting of padlocks with tools, including a saw.
Further checks revealed that when the matter was reported to the Masaka Police station, before rushing the badly injured victim to the hospital, no prompt action was made, as the affected neighbours were asked to return to the station at 12 noon before any action could be taken.
Many of those affected decried the slow response by the police, adding that it made it easy for the robbers to make away with the stolen items.
Other neighbours who were not affected directly while speaking with us under condition of anonymity described the situation as “very unfortunate and painful as while this was going on, there was nothing we could do because they armed robbers had guns but we did not have anything to challenge them with”.
While calling for a 24-hour patrol of the area by security agencies, especially the Police, they added that reinstitution of a vigilante group to forestall such occurrences was long overdue, decrying the free and unhindered manner the robbers successfully attacked about five large compounds in the area and left unchallenged.