Contingents of Team Nasarawa were attacked by gunmen on their way back from the recently concluded 20th National Sports Festival held in Benin City, Edo State.
This was disclosed in a statement by the spokesman of the Nasarawa State Ministry of Youth and Sports Development, Eche Amos, on Friday.
Amos said the armed robbers accosted the team at Akeleku village, about 2km after Kadarko town along Makurdi-Lafia Expressway.
The 56-seater team bus had run into the robbers who were already carrying out their nefarious act on other commuters on the highway on Thursday night.
The heavily armed robbers, who appeared in military camouflage, had asked the Team Nasarawa bus driver and other occupants to descend from their vehicle as they got positioned to unleash mayhem.
But unknown to the men of the underworld, one of the escort officers attached to the Team Nasarawa contingent immediately opened fire, killing one of the gang members on the spot.
As the Team Nasarawa bus was escaping the operation scene, some of the hoodlums who were hiding inside the bush returned multiple gunfires, bursting the tyres and shattering the radiator of the bus, which led to the occupants of the vehicle, the majority of whom were athletes and coaches, scampering for safety.
More security reinforcements were immediately called and the ugly situation, which lasted for over four hours, was brought under control, as the entire Team Nasarawa contingent members were re-united unharmed and returned safely to their destination in Lafia, the State’s capital, in the early hours of Friday.
Team Nasarawa attended the biennial sports fiesta with a 210-member contingent.
It featured in 25 events, winning 22 medals: five Gold, four Silver and 13 Bronze medals, to finish 18th on the medals table after 14 days of sporting hostilities that saw Team Delta emerging overall best.