From Lateef Taiwo
No fewer than three armed hoodlums have been set ablaze in Uyo, the Akwa Ibom state capital, as angry reactions trailed Tuesday night raid of the post -natal ward of the University of Uyo, UNIUYO, medical centre, recently relocated from the Ikpa Road main campus to the town campus along Nwaniba Road.
Narrating their ordeals, one of the nursing mothers, who would not want her name in print, lamented that the hoodlums stormed the ward, scared the nursing mothers and nurses on duty with guns, forcing them to scamper in fright, leaving their babies as the thieves help themselves to phones, cash and other valuables.
“We thank God, stealing of babies was not part of their mission because they searched drawers and carted phones, bags, cash and other items, while we locked ourselves inside the nurses’ offices where we overheard the cry of our babies,” she recalled.
Meanwhile, some of the nurses have threatened to down tools, blaming the incident on inadequate security as the principal cause of the the unexpected invasion.
Our Correspondent garthered at the weekend that the three criminals were lynched at the UNIUYO gate, while two others were overpowered and set ablaze inside their tricycle with which they used to rob along Iboko Street, by Ikot Ntuen Oku Primary School, while the third accomplice fled.
It was learnt the dead thieves were trying to overpower a banker they carried to his office in the early morning hours, but the struggle and alarm raised by the banker roused the neighborhood, who rallied the youths to spread dragnet for their entrapment.
Recalling the incident, one of the local residents of Iboko Street, said: “I think because of the fuel situation, the banker could not use his car, but preferred to join the commercial tricycle, oblivious of the fact that the rider and other occupants were all thieves. They tried to seize his i – phone, but he struggled and raised serious alarm. Then we came out in droves because of incidences of petty thefts, rape and other crimes on the metropolis of late.
“We have to immediately set the two ablaze, but one of them was lucky to escape. We would have handed them over to the Police, but the next day, Police would release them back on the street after collecting some bribes.
When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, SP Odiko MacDon, confirmed the robbery incident and suspected a link between a hoodlum lynched at the UNIUYO gate on Friday afternoon, and the hoodlums, who invaded the Health Centre, but condemned jungle justice with a pledged the Command’s resolve to get to the root of the incident.
He said: “Someone already has a medical condition and is even at the hospital and you still have the mind to disposes such persons of their valuables. The Commissioner of Police, CP, was so miffed about the incident and we will get to the root of this.”