• We’re investigating incident -Army, Police
From Timothy Olanrewaju, Maiduguri
Soldiers and Policemen clashed at Borno State Government House over food items to mark Ramadan.
In the aftermath of the crossfire, one person was injured.
On Monday, the state government announced distribution of rice and Semovita to poor residents .
Three days after, thousands of people converged at the entrance of the government building in Maiduguri, hoping to collect either a 25kg bag of rice or Semovita, or both.
As the distribution started, police barred vehicles from accessing the venue, except those on special permission.
At about 11am, a Nigerian Army truck showed up, insisting on gaining access to the venue where rice and Semovita were being shared.
Suspecting that the soldiers were trying to help themselves to the handouts, police officers demanded they turn back immediately.
This led to an argument and an angry soldier allegedly opened fire, injuring a policeman in the leg, witnesses said.
The police responded and gunshots rent the air as thousands gathered scampered for safety.
It took the intervention of other senior security officers to arrest the situation from degenerating.
Eyewitnesses said police descended on one of the army officers drafted to help control the crowd. The policemen reportedly accused him of instigating the crisis.
Thereafter, Commander of Operation Lafiya Dole, Major General Lucky Irabor was called in by the Attorney General, Kaka Shehu Lawan, to restore order.
The army and the police said they had commenced investigation into the clash.
A statement jointly issued and signed by the Garrison Commander, 7 Division of the Nigerian Army Maiduguri, Col. Solomon Kumapaiye and the Commissioner of Police, Borno State Command, Mr Aminchi Baraya, said disciplinary action will be meted out to any personnel of the two security forces found guilty.
“The army and the police are jointly investigating the cause of the fracas with a view to ensuring that anyone found culpable amongst the security men is made to face disciplinary measures in line with laid down rules of the Nigerian Armed Forces,” they said.