Reports that some 21 female corps members had been raped during an attack on Wednesday “by thieves” have been debunked by the National Youth Service Corps.
The scheme confirmed that, contrary to reports, “no bodily harm was meted on them, and no corps member was raped.”
Chinyere Ekwe, the NYSC state coordinator for Akwa Ibom, provided the clarification in a statement that media in Abuja were able to receive on Thursday.
In the rumored incident, she stated, “Gunmen allegedly attacked, raped, stole from, and stripped Corps Members of their goods at their residence on Udo Ekong Ekwere Street off Information Drive in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State.
“To put the unfortunate incident in proper perspective, the State Coordinator, NYSC Akwa Ibom State, Chinyere Ekwe in the company of the State Police Commissioner, Olatoye Durosinmi, visited the Corps Members for an on-the-spot assessment.
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“While there, it was confirmed that 21 corps members occupy the said property. The interaction with the corps members further revealed that an attack on them was actually carried out by thieves at about 1 am this morning.
“In the process, the invaders took their valuables, including phones, laptops and some cash. They confirmed that no bodily harm was meted on them, and no corps member was raped.
“While the actions and intentions of those criminal elements remained condemnable, we passionately appeal to the social media operators to exercise restraint and not trivialize such unfortunate incidents as the consequences on the psychology of parents and guardians of corps members in the state would be dangerously affected.
“However, it is worthy of note that the State Commissioner of Police has assured the Corps Members and members of the public that an investigation on the matter has been launched and that the culprits will soon be apprehended.
“Meanwhile, the Commissioner has equally detailed surveillance around the area with a promise to extend the same to other Corps lodges.
“Accordingly, the State Coordinator has reaffirmed that there was no incident of rape. She, therefore, urges the corps members in the State to go about their lawful duties and make use of the security phone lines already provided, while in distressed situations.”