Troops in Maiduguri, Borno State, ‘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 simultaneous Boko Haram attacks on Maiduguri, Monguno and Kodunga when the incident occurred on Monday.
It was said that 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 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 connect.
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 Information, 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.” – Punch