A policeman with the Borno State command has been shot by a soldier in a fracas over rice between his colleagues and some men of the 7 Division of the Nigerian army.
The fracas, which occurred in the office of the deputy governor of the state, attracted the attention of a crowd, who gathered to watch the unfolding event.
Thousands of people had converged at the entrance of the Government House, forming a queue of people who hoped to either get a 25kg bag of rice or Semovita being distributed by the government.
The policeman, believed to be a sergeant, clashed with soldiers who felt they should be considered for the free rice being given to the internally displaced persons for Ramadan and wanted to get their shares.
The soldiers had arrived at the government house in a vehicle mounted with anti-aircraft gun, insisting that they must also receive their share of the 25kg bags of rice which the government was distributing to the IDPs.
When the mobile policemen refused their demands, one of the soldiers was alleged to have become enraged and shot at the policeman before other mobile policemen attached to the Government House came to his rescue.
“In the process, soldiers came from the rear and arrested him, after taking his rifle from him. This attracted the attention of the other mobile policemen guarding the complex.
There were gunshots while people who had gathered scampered for safety,” an eyewitness said.
It took the intervention of other senior security officers to arrest the situation from degenerating.
Theatre commander of the Operation Lafiya Dole, General Lucky Irabo, confirmed the incident, adding that it was unfortunate the soldiers had to be there that time.
He said that the military would not tolerate any criminal behaviour from any axis of the command, adding that the shooting of the policeman on his foot was unfortunate and the culprit would be fished out.
After a meeting between Governor Kashim Shettima and the security chiefs, a statement signed by the Garrison Commander, Colonel Solomon Kumapaiye and the state
Commissioner of Police, Aminchi Baraya, further indicated that the policeman in question was responding to treatment.