By Chioma Onuegbu, Uyo
GUNMEN on Tuesday night invaded Corpers’ Lodge located along Udo Ekong Ekwere street, off Information Drive in Uyo local government area of Akwa Ibom State robbed and raped the female occupants.
It was gathered that the gunmen stormed the Lodge by 1pm Tuesday night on a tricycle aka Keke na Napep, carting away valuables including Laptops, Cell phones and cash.
Some of the corps member who spoke with newsmen Wednesday morning lamented that no help came from anywhere during the attack despite cry for help.
One of the Corps members who identified himself as Emeka Emmanuel said “They arrived on a tricycle, popularly called Keke and immediately started operation. They beamed high intensity torchlight everywhere and pounced on every door with heavy iron and threatened to shoot us if we fail to cooperate”.
A female Corps member, who also spoke on condition of anonymity, while fighting back tears, said her phones, laptop, cash were forcefully taken away from her after the hoodlums gained entrance into her room from the back door.
“You know at that period of the night, most of us females, we used to sleep naked and the suddeness of the attack caught us unprepared. They beamed the torch through the window and threatened to shoot if the door is not quickly opened”, she explained.
“I have never heard of this anywhere in Nigeria, even in the North, where insecurity is at the highest peak, that Corpers could be deliberately targetted, raped and robbed by criminals at gun point. Is it because we are not from Akwa Ibom that no one could hear our shouts and come to save us?”, another female colleague, lamented.
Mr. Nsikak Ibanga, a night guard at the State Secretariat of the Nigeria Union of Journalists which is located opposite the corpers lodge said ” I raised alarm by hitting the supporting pillars holding the reconstructed NUJ auditorium. The sound reverberated across the whole area but no response”.
Another neighbour, Bassey Offiong, said “when I heard the attack and the outcry of the Corpers, I quicky reached out to the Police at Ikot Akpanabia Command, which is very close here, but they arrived a little late, after the criminals had finished and left in their tricycle
Also the Youth Leader of the area, Comrade Godwin Okpo, blamed incessant criminals activities around communities on the collapse of internal security organized by the local residents.
“I used to go round from house to house to collect monetary contributions for the night vigilante group to secure the area at night, but suddenly they started accusing me of embezzling their money. So there was nothing I could do again.
“When I heard the incident late in the night around I: 00am this morning (yesterday), I moved to the place but since I was alone, there was nothing I could do. I have told them (residents) that once it is midnight, they should off their generators so we can hear what’s happening in the neighborhoods”, Okpo stressed.
When some newsmen contacted the Police Public Relations Officer, Mr. Odiko MacDon, he said he was yet to be fully briefed on the incident, stressing, ” I don’t have any information about the incident but i will find out and get across to you”.