General Nnamdi Okorie-Affia
By Wole Ayodele
Authorities of the Nigerian Police Force and National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) In Taraba State Saturday described as false and misleading media reports that NYSC members in the state were attacked by gunmen.
Addressing newsmen in JaIingo in separate press briefings on the backdrop of the report, the state Police Commissioner, Mr. Ibrahim Mohammed Maishanu and the state Coordinator of NYSC, Mr. Freeman Tumba Kwaya, said the report was not only alarming and misleading but have serious security implications for the country.
There were media reports in many national dailies on Friday that corps members were attacked in their lodge behind the Federal Government Girls College, Jalingo by gunmen who carted away their monthly allowances running into several hundreds of thousands of naira, laptops and mobile phones.
But the police commissioner, who confirmed an attack on the premises of RCC missionary quarters where some corps members reside at about 2.00 am on the 6th of September, said police investigations revealed that the attackers, numbering six, were local thieves and not gunmen as stated in the report.
Debunking the report, Maishanu said the hoodlums were armed with cutlasses and sticks and not guns while a total sum of N70, 000 was carted away by the robbers and not hundreds of thousands as claimed in the report.
Corroborating the police commissioner, Kwaya disclosed that those that attacked the premises were mere local thieves who specialise in burgling houses in the area and not gunmen as claimed in the report. He stressed that he visited the apartment in the morning to ascertain the condition of the corps members, saying he had taken stock of items and cash carted away by the thieves with the aim of providing same for them.
Noting that the report was capable of causing serious panic among parents and guardians of corps members serving in the state, the NYSC coordinator disclosed that adequate effort had been made to guarantee and ensure the safety of corps members in the state.