At least one person was injured Thursday at the Borno State government house when soldiers and police exchanged fire as they fought over food items distributed by the government to mark the Ramadan fast, PREMIUM TIMES reports.
The government since on Monday have been distributing large amounts of rice and semovita to poor residents.
According to the report, police officers barred vehicles from accessing the venue of the distribution.
An eyewitness said that an Army truck showed up at the venue at about 11AM insisting on gaining entrance.
The police officers, suspecting that the soldiers were trying to get their own share of the foodstuff, turned them back.
The angry soldiers allegedly opened fire, shooting a police officer on the leg. The police also responded with gunshots, causing chaos as people ran for their lives.
The report also said that angry policemen beat up a soldier who was drafted to help control the crowd during the distribution, saying he instigated the crisis.
The commander of the operation Lafiya Dole, Major General Lucky Irabor, was called in by the Borno State Attorney General, Kaka Shehu Lawan, to restore order.
Irabor described the incident as “shameful and highly unbecoming of uniformed officers”.
“What is a bag of rice that will give you the cause to be angry? Bag of rice? It is shameful. If the world hears that it is because of bag of that made police and soldiers to be fighting, is it not shameful? Let us not behave like children: all of us have children at home. Soldiers and policemen should be seen to be matured in their dispositions at all times.
While everyone is clapping for good that we have been doing, let us not also do things that will make them to begin to stone us. I want you to calm your nerves, because in a family you are likely to find incidents of misunderstanding,” he said.
The state government has suspended the distribution till further notice.
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