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- Written by Samuel Tombiri
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The reigning Nigerian champions were attacked by men of the underworld on Thursday afternoon leaving five of their key players injured
Kano Pillars’ Gambo Muhammed, Eneji Otekpa, Adamu Murtala, Reuben Ogbonnaya and Ubong Ekpai were injured as Sai Masu Gida were attacked by armed robbers along Abaji-Lokoja Road on Thursday afternoon.
Okey Emordi’s men had eliminated Al-Malakia in their 2015 Caf Champions League preliminary round and were heading to Owerri ahead of their Nigeria Professional Football League opener against Heartland.
The three-time champions were travelling in a 32-seater coaster bus which had 25 people including 18 players alongside a four-man technical crew led by coach Emordi in another Peugeot car.
The team’s media officer Idris Malikawa informed Goal that Pillars cheated death as the gunmen shot intermittently with no place to hide.
“Five of our players are currently receiving treatment at the Federal Medical Centre in Lokoja and are responding to treatment as we were attacked by robbers around 1.15 pm,” Malikawa told Goal.
Striker Gambo had his arm seriously damaged from a gun shot while Ekpai sustained injuries behind the head but no fatality was recorded.
Armed robbery attacks are not uncommon on Nigerian roads with marauders usually laying in wait for wealthy merchants who travel to purchase goods.
The League Management Company has now announced a postponement of the match between Pillars and Heartland.
It is not yet known if Caf would also postpone Pillars' next Champions League game due to this unfortunate incident.