By Ndahi Marama
MAIDUGURI— Gunmen, suspected to be members of Boko Haram sect, Wednesday, killed two people and injured three on Santimari Polo Road. A bomb exploded in Gwange, Layin Bus, at the same time.
The Gwange explosion was also believed to have been planted by Boko Haram members.
Vanguard gathered that the yet-to-be identified gunmen came with an unmarked Volkswagen Golf car at 7:49pm and opened fire on people playing cards in front of a shop belonging to a GSM recharge card dealer.
Two people died, including a Head Teacher of COCIN Church Primary School in Polo, Mallam Caleb.
The gunmen, according to investigation, were targeting a State Security Services, SSS, personnel who normally visits the shop, especially at night.
An eyewitness, who did not want his name in print, said he was just passing along the road when he saw the gunmen shooting and quickly laid down to avoid stray bullets.
He said: “I heard them saying to people ‘don’t run, don’t worry, we are not here for you. We have our target’.
“I believe they came to hunt for one SSS man who normally comes here to play cards with some of his friends. But they ended up killing innocent people. Unfortunately, the SSS man was lucky as I learnt that he didn’t visit the shop that day.”
People see Polo as one of the safe areas, as most of the residents of the area are predominantly Christians. However, the area has experienced several attacks in the past two months.
Confirming the incident to Vanguard in a telephone conversation in Maiduguri, Spokesman of the Joint Task Force, JTF, Lt.-Col. Hassan Mohammed, said some members of Boko Haram detonated an Improvised Explosive Device, IED, at 7:45pm Wednesday in Gwange ward.
He stressed that the sect members were targeting one of their patrol vehicles, but missed as the bomb exploded after their patrol vehicle had left the area. He said no casualty was recorded in the blast.
Similarly, Hassan said some yet-to-be identified gunmen came to Polo with a Volkswagen Golf car at the same time the Gwange blast occurred, and opened fire on some members of the public.
Hassan said on reaching the area, his men pursued two of the suspects who abandoned their car and fled.
He said no arrest was made, but that his men were on top of the situation as normalcy had been restored.