BY BARTH EZE
The National Hospital on Friday turned to battle field as students were injured on their hospital beds after gunmen stormed the hospital to kill the presumed winner of the students’ election.
The Old Parade Ground, venue of the national convention of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), on Friday, December 1, turned to bloody parade after heavy shootings rented the air.
It was gathered that the shootings, which started on Thursday continued till Friday at the venue of the convention, which is a few distance away from the Defense Headquarters, Abuja.
Our correspondent gathered that officials of the convention, and the planning committee members including students and delegates sustained wounds from the gunshots and machetes after thugs loyal to a candidate began attacking opposition delegates.
Videos trending on social media showed students scampering for safety during the heavy shooting.
Saturday Times learned that security agencies deployed for the election took to their heels when the shootings became too much until the reinforcement which brought to an end by security agencies.
Meanwhile, a health worker at the National Hospital told our correspondent that some of the injured delegates were brought to the hospital to receive treatment but the rival gang followed them to the hospital, where they finished their dirty job before leaving the hospital.
The worker said doctors and nurses on duty scampered for safety and ran to their offices and abandoned their patients.
It was gathered that some of the students were stabbed several on their hospital beds leading to bleeding.
The worker said the hospital complex was into pandemonium adding that at least six people may have died.
Trouble started at the hospital when the faction traced the other faction loyal to the group who were loosing the election invaded the venue and attacked the officials conducting the election and their opponents.
After, they were said to have moved to the hospital in search of the factions winning the election and traced them to the National Hospital, were another battle took place.
According to him, the delegates for the convention, who have been in Abuja since Sunday, are presently meeting in an undisclosed location to determine the next line of action.
NANS, the umbrella body of students of tertiary institutions in Nigeria, is expected to elect a new set of national leaders.
The students’ body had zoned the position of president of NANS to Zone B (South-south) with Pendro Obi Chibuzor, a PhD student from Delta State University and Lucky Omonefe as the leaders
According to a student who spoke to our correspondent, the newly elected leaders were expected to replace Usman Barambo who had served out his term as NANS president.
According to sources, a candidate said to have the support of the presidency was losing the election when the gunmen invaded the venue and started shooting sporadically leading to the killing and maiming of the delegates.
According to her, several patients were forced to flee their hospital wards and beds following the violent attack by the aggrieved NANS factions whose candidate lost the election.
Meanwhile, the FCT police command has deployed its officers to the hospital in a bid to restore law and order.
Police officers were also deployed in the Central Area of the Federal Capital Territory, where the hospital and the International Conference Centre are located.
It was gathered that before the convention, the Department of State Services had intercepted some NANS members on Thursday and recovered two pump action guns and cartridges from them on their way to the convention.
The FCT Police Public Relations Officer, SP Josephine Adeh, was not available to pick her call when contacted.