The worsening security situation in Makurdi, the Benue state capital, got to a head at the weekend, when suspected robbers raided one of the biggest private hospitals in the town (name withheld) carting away undisclosed sum of money and valuables after beating and injuring many patients on admission in the hospital.
An eyewitness and staff of the hospital, who craved anonymity, told Vanguard Sunday that the robbers stormed the hospital which is located on the ever busy New Otukpo road at about 11pm Saturday night and started shooting sporadically.
â€œThe heavily armed men numbering about eight drove into the hospital in two cars, we thought they brought a patient for treatment or maybe came to visit one of the sick patients.
â€œNobody ever thought that they were robbers until they took position within the hospital and tied up the security guard on duty and started shouting on everyone to lie down and bring out their money and phones.
â€œBefore then, they had gone to the counter and collected all the money that was paid to the nurses on duty over the shelve by patients, since the accountant had closed for the day.
â€œFrom there, they went from ward to ward and room to room beating patients and their visitor and dispossessing them of anything of value they could lay their hands on, including mobile phones and cash.
â€œAt the end of the operation which lasted about 20 minutes, many were injured but no one was killed; they drove off shooting sporadically to scare off everyone.
When contacted, the state Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, Superintendent(SP) Daniel Ezeala said the matter had not been reported at the command Headquaters.
Meantime, Ezeala disclosed that a two man robbery gang who had been wanted by the police for alleged cases of robbery and murder in parts of Makurdi town, were at the weekend arrested by the command.
He said, â€œThe two suspects, Ushahemba Gaadi and Philimon Gaadi, who were wanted criminals in respect of recent robberies and murder of victims in parts of Makurdi town, were arrested on Saturday night during Police raid at Vaatia College Junction, on Abu King Shuluwa road.â€
Ezeala who vowed that the command would not rest on its oars until the masterminds of the recent violent crimes in parts of the town were arrested, disclosed that one locally made pistol with 9mm calibre ammunition was also recovered from the gang.