The bus carrying Kano Pillars FC to a Nigeria Professional Football League away fixture against Heartland FC came under fire on Thursday afternoon.
The 18-man squad was headed to Owerri for the week 1 fixture of the 2014/15 season when it was attacked at Abaji, according to technical adviser of the club Felix Okey Emordi.
The five players injured during the attack are Super Eagles striker Gambo Muhammed, former Dream Team star Eneji Otekpa, defensive trojan Adamu Murtala, ex Elkanemi Warriors defender Reuben Ogbonnaya and wing wizard Ubong Ekpai.
“We ran into them and immediately they opened fire. One of them forced the door open. They then shot the boys, of which five were injured”.
“We thank Almighty God that there was no life lost. It could have been worse. Immediately after the men of the underworld pulled the trigger, we ran into the bush and we came out after they had gone and headed to the hospital’’.
It was also gathered that the armed robbers collected ransoms from players of the CAF Champions League campaigners.
“As they were shooting, they were asking for money and valuables. The boys co-operated with them and ran for their dear lives. I still thank God for sparing the lives of the players,” coach Emordi continued.
In the past, teams travelling on the road to prosecute league matches had been victims of the men of the underworld.
“It’s a common phenomenon in the country. I’m not condemning the efforts of our law enforcement officers. They are trying their best. They need to do more to fish out the criminals.”
Gambo Mohammed was the most affected of the injured players as he was groaning in pains and might be out of action for a long time.
Eneji Otekpa, Adamu Murtala, Reuben Ogbonnaya and Ubong Ekpai should be back to action in a couple of weeks.