Six injured, some 'critically,' after gunmen open fire on FC Ifeanyi Ubah team bus
At least six people were injured when armed individuals attacked a bus carrying Nigerian Premier League club FC Ifeanyi Ubah to a scheduled league match at Jigawa Golden Stars.
The bus driver suffered gunshot wounds and at least five others, including players and members of the coaching staff, were "critically injured," according to a statement from the club.
FC Ifeanyi Ubah were five hours and 245 Km into their 14-hour, 822-Km road trip from Onitsha to Kano when they ran into the attackers dressed in the uniforms of the National Youth Service Corps -- a program for fresh graduates performing a mandatory one year of national service.
A statement from the club said: "The affected persons are currently being treated and responding to treatment.
"We wish to use this medium to appeal to the Federal Government as well as football regulatory bodies ... to further intensify security efforts to ensure the safety of teams who often have no choice than to travel long distances by road."
Stanley Ike-Richard, COO of the League Management Company, which runs the league, on Saturday released a statement that the fixture had been moved to Monday Dec. 2, and the suspected motive of a 'robbery attack' was stated, though no police report to that effect has been released.
Nigerian clubs typically travel these long distances over bad roads to honor league fixtures, and incidents such as these, as well as vehicle accidents are not uncommon.
This latest attack happened along the same Lokoja road where former league champions Kano Pillars were involved in a similar raid which left five players with gunshot wounds and others with injuries.
Abia Warriors were also attacked last year on their way to a Cup game in Lagos, as were Osun United on their way to a First Division league game.
And in the most deadly month of fatalities, 32 players from two clubs were killed in road accidents on their way to league fixtures in 2009.