An unknown number of armed men stormed the Christmas Village in Calabar, the capital of Cross River State in the early hours of Monday and robbed fun seekers of their possessions,..
According to PUNCH, the armed men shot repeatedly into the air forcing audience at the venue to run for safety. The newspaper reports that the attacked occured during the performance of popular musician Kiss Daniel.
It is not known if anyone was killed in the attack but several people sustained gunshot injuries while others were stabbed.
The Calabar Christmas Village, situated at the Calabar Municipal Council Secretariat, usually opens 24 hours each day, from December 1 to December 31 every year.
It was not clear if Kiss Daniel was injured, but an eyewitness said some of the attackers rushed on stage and took some of the items he had on before security official were able to rush him into hiding.
An injured shop owner in the village, Glory Andem, gave her account of the incident:
“It was a serious situation and I got injured. What happened was that some guys came into the village and tried to rob Kiss Daniel when he was singing, ‘Oya talk to me o mama.’
“They were throwing bottles and other things at him. Before we knew it, they brought out guns and started shooting. Some security men immediately rushed to the singer. But even with the security, the robbers rushed at him and removed his clothes and collected things from him.
“They would have killed that guy. To be honest, I don’t know how he managed to escape. You know there are several thousands of people in the Christmas village usually and the situation led to a serious pandemonium.
“They broke up everything in my shop. They took all my money. They robbed a lot of shops. Our chairs were broken. Everybody was running at the same time. It was a terrible experience.”
She also added that several cars were vandalised.
However, the state Commissioner of Police, Jimoh Ozi-Obeh, said it was not a robbery attack, but a quarrel between the organisers of the show.
“There was no robbery incident in Calabar and nobody was attacked by robbers in any other part of Cross River State. What happened was that the government had initially planned to host the musician at the stadium, but the plan was changed to the Calabar Christmas Village. They probably had misunderstanding with the organisers. It was the change of venue that was not properly organised,”