Soldiers in Maiduguri mistakenly Open Fire On Borno Governor’s Convoy

January 28, 2015 12:18 pm
 Troops in Maiduguri, , ‘mistakenly’ opened fire on the convoy
of Governor Kashim Shettima as it approached a military garrison near
the airport.

Shettima was on his way to visit soldiers, who were wounded in the
simultenous Boko Haram attacks on Maiduguri, Monguno and Kodunga when
the incident occurred on Monday.

Security sources, according to SaharaReporters, said the governor’s
protocol unit was to blame for the incident as it failed to notify the
military authorities about Shettima’s intention to visit the military
facility on Monday evening.

An aide to the governor was quoted by the online portal as having
said that the governor, who was unharmed in the encounter, returned to
his office unruffled.

The report however did not say if anyone in the convoy was hurt. It also
was silent on whether or not Shettima’s security aides returned fired.

A Government House source however claimed that the governor’s convoy
heard sporadic gunshots about one kilometre from the 33 Battalion and
therefore made a U-turn.

He added that Shettima stopped his convoy at the 707 Housing Estate to
calm tensions and debunk the rumours that the gunshots were by Boko
Haram insurgents that were attacking people at Njimtilo.

Our correspondents could not get the spokesman for the 7th Div., Col
S.K. Usman, to comment on the issue as calls to his mobile did not

Attempts to also get the reaction of the Director of Press and
Communication to the governor, Mallam Isa Gusau, were unsuccessful as of
the time of filing this report.

Calls to his mobile indicated that it was either switched off or out of coverage area.

But the state Commissioner for Infromation, Mohammed Bulama, said what happened was a “friendly gunshot.”

“It was not an attack on the governor. It was a friendly gunshot that
was not directed at Gov. Shettima nor his convoy. The shots were fired
into the air by soldiers who were hailing the governor for saluting
their effort in repelling the insurgents.”

Fleeing residents of Monguno on Tuesday told The PUNCH in Maiduguri,
that corpses of people were decomposing on the streets of the captured

One of them, Babagana Modu, who arrived in Maiduguri on Monday
evening, said, “The pathetic thing is that our dead family members are
allowed to decompose on the streets without burial.

“The fools (insurgents) are treating us worse than an animal. Definitely, these people do not know any God.”

A woman, Yagana Mohammed, who lost her husband and two children to the attack, said she would have preferred to die too.

She said, “I would have liked to be killed with my dead husband rather
than living with the memory of the day he was slaughtered. The matter
is made worse by the fact that there would be no grave for me to
show to my other surviving children.

“As I am speaking to you our men are still engaging the insurgents and
hopefully they will push them back soon and allow the people of the town
to return home,” a military source told The PUNCH.

Meanwhile, a suspected Boko Haram bomb maker has been arrested by
security operatives in Potiskum, Yobe State.The man, identified simply
as Ba’na, is suspected to be behind the fabrication of explosives used
in a series of Boko Haram suicide attacks.

According to an Agence France Presse report on Tuesday, the suspect was arrested with nine accomplices.

“He confessed to being responsible for the manufacture of the explosives
used in at least three suicide attacks and the car explosion outside
the divisional police station,” a police officer told the AFP.

Ba’na was said to have moved to Potiskum from Damaturu three years ago
and worked as a stonemason and water vendor before getting married.

“He was quite good at his disguise and his mason and water vending jobs gave him perfect cover,” the officer said.

But the spokesman for the Nigerian Police Force, Emmanuel Ojukwu, told
the news agency that he did not have any information on the arrest.

Potiskum, the commercial capital of Yobe State, has been hit by a wave
of bombings in recent months, including a suicide attack on a secondary
school in November in which 58 people were killed.

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