JOS — Speaker of the Plateau State House of Assembly, Mr. John Clark Dabwan, Tuesday night, narrowly escaped death when gunmen, suspected to be robbers, stormed a Christian retreat he attended in the state capital, demanding to see him.
About nine worshippers were reportedly injured as the gunmen shot into the crowd at the retreat held at the Christian Rural and Urban Development Association of Nigeria, (CRUDAN) Guest Inn at Sabon Barki in Jos South Local Government Area of the state capital.
Eyewitnesses said the suspected robbers came in shortly after the speaker drove into the premises and started ordering the people around at the top of their voices, demanding to see the speaker.
Apparently determined to demonstrate that they meant business, the gunmen fired shots into the congregation inuring many, which resulted in a stampede, a source said.
The source added that the speaker on sensing trouble quickly made his exit before the gunmen could fish him out from the crowd.
Men of the Special Task Force (STF) were said to have arrived the scene after some time, forcing the gunmen to beat a retreat. They subsequently conveyed the injured to the Plateau Specialist Hospital for treatment.
Confirming the incident in a statement, the speaker’s Press Secretary, Mrs. Nandak Chingle said the gunmen struck at the scene between 9 and 10 pm when the speaker and some church ministers were holding a retreat.
She said her boss narrowly escaped unhurt but that the robbers made away with personal effects and other valuables from the retreaters.
Neither the STF Media Officer, Captain Salisu Mustapha nor the police spokesman, Mr. Emmanuel Onuigbo could be reached for comments at the time of this report.