By Matthew Denis
In a scene that is archetypal of movies, fully armed robbers numbering about 20 attacked three Kwara (Harmony) Express buses while returning to Ilorin from Kaduna State, around 9:20 am on Monday.
The robbers were said to have shot sporadically at the passengers and drivers of those buses killing a baby and four others along Kaduna Birni- Gwari road.
Narrating his ordeal, one of the victims and driver of the first bus, who sustained six bullet wounds, Mr. Isiaka Atanda, said, “On that fateful day, we left Kaduna State with our three 18-seater buses loaded with passengers and their luggage on our way to Ilorin.
“We were approaching one village though a dangerous bend called Birni Gwari near a river bank. We just saw people coming out from the bush with some of them dressed in army camouflage and they started shooting sporadically at us and they blocked the way.
“I was shot at on one hand six times and I managed to drive the bus with the other hand to some miles before stopping. One person died in my bus as a result of bullet wounds.
“An infant in the second bus was shot, the same way the parents were shot too, while one person died in the third bus too.”
Atanda added that several people sustained gun injuries and were being treated in various hospitals.
The veteran driver said six bullets have been removed by a local physician at Bode-Saadu, Moro Local Government of Kwara State, from the wounds he sustained on his hand.
He however called on the state government to come to his aid as he is still writhing in pains with no fund for his treatment.
Also speaking on the development, the Secretary of Kwara Express Union, Yunusa Olayika Suleiman confirmed the death of five passengers in the horrific incident adding that many others sustained injuries.
The Secretary stressed that the armed robbers carted away money and valuables of the passengers. According to him, Kwara Express bus was robbed at same spot some years back.
Despite the incident, Suleiman assured that the union will continue to cooperate with the management of the transportation outfit for the safety of passengers and workers.
Meanwhile, in an attempt to speak with the Managing Director of the Express, Engr. Salaudeen Alabi, he declined comment, saying, ” I’m busy and I can’t speak on the issue now.”