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Six Kano Pillars’ players shot by robbers



NFF, LMC, Heartland condole team

NIGERIAN Premier League Champions, Kano Pillars, were Thursday attacked by gunmen suspected to be armed robbers along the Abaji-Lokoja road on their way to Owerri for the opening match of the 2015 Glo Premier League match against Heartland FC. 

  In the process, the club’s highest goal scorer of all time, Gambo Mohammed and five others, Ubong Ekpai, Murtala Adamu, Otekpa Eneji, Yusuf Mohammed and Reuben Ogbonnaya were hit by bullets. They are currently undergoing treatment at the Federal Medical Centre (FMC) in Lokoja. 

  The Guardian learnt that two of the players were shot on their head, while the robbers’ bullet hit two others on the shoulder region, when the team’s bus was ambushed at a roadblock mounted by the robbers, who then opened fire on the players.

  According to one of the players, Tswanya Samuel, who confirmed the incident in a telephone chat with The Guardian yesterday, the team ran into a road block, which brought them face to face with robbers. Tswanya Samuel escaped unhurt.

  Meanwhile, General Secretary of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Musa Amadu, has described the incident as wicked and unfortunate.

  He, however, advised clubs’ management to put safety of their officials and players first when embarking on trips, stressing that the management should have opted to travel by air for such long journey in the interest of the entire team.

  The League Management Company (LMC) has also expressed shock at the news of the robbery attack on Kano Pillars yesterday.

  Chief Operating Officer of LMC, Salihu Abubakar, said the league body was in touch with officials of Kano Pillars, monitoring the progress of the injured players. He said all other fixtures of the Glo Premier League Match Day 1 would hold as scheduled, but the star matches will now be a double-header in Port Harcourt between Dolphins FC and Kwara United and the one between Sharks and Sunshine Stars.

  Also yesterday, the management of Heartland FC of Owerri expressed heartfelt sympathy with Kano Pillars over the unfortunate armed robbery attack.

  General Manager, Prince Okechukwu Ibe said the news of the unfortunate incident jolted every member of Heartland as they were expecting Kano Pillars to be in Owerri for the match.

  While describing the sad incident as a dangerous threat to football in Nigeria, Ibe said it was a fate that could befall any club traveling for matches across the country.

  The Heartland boss also prayed for the quick recovery of all those injured in the attack.

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