by Isi Esene
Eyewitnesses have continued to narrate their experience during the invasion on Monday of the polytechnic town of Auchi, Edo State, by armed robbers.
The robbers were said to have stormed the town with sophisticated weapons succeeding in robbing four banks. The attack which reportedly lasted three hours left about 15 people dead, including three soldiers.
Shaka Hamza, a resident of the town narrated his experience saying:
“I was about to go to the mosque when the shooting started. They attacked the command quarters at Warrake.
“They also attacked soldiers’ base at Igbirra camp. When we started hearing gun shots, I thought maybe soldiers were engaging criminals, but suddenly we saw some armed men, over 20 of them shouting and shooting. They were ordering every body to enter their houses. They were fully armed, so we started making calls in our houses.
“In fact, it was there that we learnt that they have bombed the Area Command police station. It was like a war situation but it is a pity that the police could not do anything. But the truth is that I don’t think the police would have faced those people because they were fully prepared.
“Maybe they had hint that money was deposited some where and that came for it.”
Another eyewitness, Iyabo Omon, said she had to run for cover with her children as soon as she started hearing the sound of gunshots and explosions.
“I saw many of them carrying guns. I ran under the bed and one came to bang on my door. Suddenly they shot a man. They took the chickens and other items I displayed for sale.
“It was later we discovered that the man they shot was a driver with Bob Izua Motors. I packed all the things in my shop. But we thank God we are still alive because we actually thought it was over for all of us.
“This shows that we have no protection in this country, when robbers like this can conveniently come to a town like Auchi and take over the place. It is shocking and I pray we don’t experience this kind of thing again in our life. There are several people who are hypertensive; they were rushed to the hospital due to the sound of gun and the bombs. We are yet to count the number of deaths; it is later that we will know because so many people were affected.”
An horrific ordeal indeed.