It was a sorrowful night for two members of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), last Wednesday in Asarama Community, Andoni Local Government Area, Rivers State, after they were robbed and raped by some unknown gunmen.
The corpers were said to be in bed at their lodge when the gunmen who are suspected to be Niger Delta militants broke into their rooms to rob and rape them.
One of the victims in a telephone conversation with The Nation explained that the gunmen numbering seven wore face caps except for the ring leader, who was hooded.
She explained sadly: “The gunmen broke the door with their legs. We were about seven in the lodge. They entered my room and I was told to knock on other rooms. They came with guns and cutlasses. They were about seven in number.
“They asked all of us out of our rooms and they led all of us into an empty room. Then later they came to ask if we had any male Corps member because the lodge is like a wing. They asked him to pull his trousers. We, the girls were packed in an empty room and they told us to stand up one after the other and they led us to our rooms.
“Some phones were collected. There has not been light in our lodge since we started serving and they didn’t come with any source of light so they asked me to put on my torch. They asked us how much we had as they led us to our rooms. As they were doing that, they were beating, slapping and hitting us. They searched the rooms and asked us to bring the money. They asked me to kneel down and went into other people’s room to do the same thing.
“When he came back into my room, he locked the door and asked me to look for the money, else he would kill me. I told them that I didn’t have any money apart from the one I already gave them.
“Then he (gunmen) asked me to pull my dress, and I was actually raped that night. I struggled but he overpowered me. He was beating and slapping me. The marks are still on my body. He was the one who had the gun with him. One other female corper was raped in our room too. After that, he told me to lie faced down on my bed, then also took some things from my room and left. He told me to lock the door and that when he wants to come, he would knock.
“Then I was hearing footsteps; I think they were carrying the food stuff that they saw in other rooms. They went to the other wing and collected their phones, foods stuff, clothes, shoes, and some plates too.
“All these lasted for more than two hours. They sounded local and they were saying “since the government did not pay us; no vex o. All these things, na hunger cause am. If government no pay us, then if we get gun, we go find our way.’’
Expatiating further, she said: “There is no police station in that area. And our lodge is bushy, so even if we called for help, no one would have heard us. The local inspector, local government chairman and some other people visited us in the hospital and took care of our hospital bill. They told us to leave the lodge.
“So, the place is under lock now. I feel very bad. It’s very heartbreaking and traumatizing. God knows about everything that happened and I know those that did it will not go unpunished.”