After achieving their best results ever in the history of the National Sports Festival, members of Team Nasarawa were attacked on their way from Benin City, venue of Edo 2020 fiesta. One of the robbers was killed in a gun battle with the police escort attached to the team.
Team Nasarawa, which attended Edo 2020 sports festival with a 210-member contingent, won a total of 22 medals made up of five gold, four silver and 13 bronze to finish 18th on the medals table.
According to the Public Relations Officer of Nasarawa State Ministry of Youth and Sports Development, Eche Amos, one of the two buses conveying the last batch of athletes from Benin City was attacked by suspected armed robbers at Akeleku village, some two kilometres after Kadarko town, along Makurdi-Lafia Expressway.
He stated that the 56-seater Team bus rammed into the robbers who were already carrying out their nefarious act on other commuters on the highway on Thursday night.
He said: “The heavily armed robbers who appeared in military camouflage asked our bus driver, athletes and officials to descend from the vehicle as they got positioned to unleash mayhem. But unknown to the robbers, one of the escort officers attached to our team immediately opened fire, killing one of the gang members on the spot.”
Eche Amos continued: “As the Team Nasarawa bus was escaping from the operation scene, some of the hoodlums, who were hiding in the bush, returned multiple gun shots, which burst the tyres of the bus and shattered the radiator. Everybody inside the bus, majority of who were athletes and coaches, scampered for safety.
“More security men were reinforced and the ugly situation, which lasted for over four hours was brought under control. The entire Team Nasarawa contingent members re-united unharmed, and returned safely to their destination in Lafia in the early hours of Friday. Contrary to some social media reports, no member of the team was injured or missing,” he said.