By Ndahi Marama
MAIDUGURI — RESIDENTS of Zannari ward in Maiduguri, Borno State capital, fled their homes in the early hours of Thursday following shootout between suspected member of the Boko Haram sect and the joint task force of military and police stationed in the area.
Vanguard learnt that the shootout started at about 7:30 am when the suspected sect members attacked and burnt down one of the security patrol vehicle in Zannari, London Ciki ward within Maiduguri, the Borno State capital.
An eyewitness, Mallam Ibrahim Adam, told our correspondent that, when they heard the gunshot at first, they thought it was coming from a distance not knowing that the shooting was taking place right at their domain.
According to him, he quickly gathered his family took whatever they could take and fled the area.
He said immediately they came out of their house, their were some young men with riffles who asked them to leave the area immediately and they followed others who were fleeing as well before they found themselves in the GRA.
When our reporter visited the area after the incident, there was heavy presence of security personnel with some suspects arrested, while house-to-house search was ongoing in the whole part of the area.
Governor Ali Modu Sheriff, who was also in the area had while speaking to Journalists advised the sect to drop arms in the interest of peace in the state, adding that there was no alternative to peace.
He said that government would continue to work to ensure the protection of lives and property of citizens as government on its part would not relent until the situation was brought under total control and the perpetrators of this evil are brought to justice.
The Brigade Commander, 21 Brigade, Brigdier General Ibrahim Hassan Ndaliman, also told journalists that his men despite their number at the time of the attack were able to contain the insurgence and fought the good fight owing to their military tactics, which was why there was no casualty on their side except for the patrol vehicle, which they lost.
On the police side the CP Abubakar Mohammed Jinjiri told newsmen that the police is still searching for the suspects and is making arrest, which they will make it public when they were able to completely fish out the bad from the good.