Panic over Gunshots in Maiduguri

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Michael Olugbode in Maiduguri

Residents in the outskirts of Maiduguri yesterday witnessed some skirmishes following indiscriminate shooting by some soldiers.

The situation forced many women, children and elderly people in Damboa road and Polo general area to scamper for safety.

Residents said that they started hearing gunshots at about 3 p.m., though unsure if soldiers were test-firing equipment.

Haruna Kachala, a Civilian Joint Task Force said that the gunshots came from the soldiers stationed at the state hotel along Damboa road bye pass while on their way to relieve their colleagues at Molai general area.

Kachala said “Initially, we thought the military were test firing their equipment, but when the other troops at Molai general responded to the fire, residents ran helter-skelter.

Bukar Mala, a resident in Damboa road said they fled for safety when they heard continuous shootings from the two different locations.

Meanwhile, Borno State Governor, Prof. Babagana Umara yesterday promised to put in a place a robust emergency response team to monitor and ensure quick response to emergency cases, especially to Boko Haram’s attacks

The governor made the promise while responding to the rumoured  Boko Haram attack on parts of Maiduguri, the state capital.

A statement by Director of Press at the Government House, Maiduguri, Ndahi Pindar said the governor on hearing of the news of the purported attack went to the rumoured scene of the attack in company of his security network but found that it was a hoax.

He said when the governor visited the area to know what exactly was happening, he discovered that it was a rumour as the residents of the area were seen going about their normal activities.

He said following this, the governor promised to set up a robust emergency response team to monitor and ensure quick response to emergency cases, especially threats of attacks.

Pindar said the governor appealed to residents of Maiduguri, most especially those at the outskirts not to accept or engage in rumours.

In another development, the vice presidential candidate of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) in the annulled June 12, 1993 elections, Ambassador Babagana Kingibe, has paid a visit on the Borno State governor to pay homage and express appreciation at the successful hosting of the Democracy Day celebration.

Kingibe said he had wanted to be around in Maiduguri during the celebrations to register personally as a son of the soil but because it was a national day, he had to celebrate it in Abuja.

He said power comes from God and as a believer, he is confident that the choice of Umara was not a mistake.

Kingibe urged the good people of Borno to pray, support and embrace governor’s leadership to enable him succeed.