By Bashir Bello
KATSINA – Pandemonium in Morawa village, Batagarawa local government area of Katsina State when stray bullet by custom officers allegedly hit a primary six pupil, Bello Salisu of Morawa Primary school, a government owned school.
The incident which occurred on Friday was said to have happened along Katsina – Kano road when the custom operatives were chasing smugglers conveying Rice and Second hand clothes in a J-5 and allegedly shooting sporadically.
The pupil, little Bello Salisu was hit by the stray bullets and sustained injuries on his hand, around his shoulder and neck.
Bello, who spoke to newsmen from his hospital bed in the Accident and Emergency area of General Hospital, Katsina said they were on break when they heard gunshots and ran to see what happened when he was hit by the bullets from the custom officers.
An eyewitness, Abubakar Yusuf said the custom operatives were chasing smugglers when the incident happened.
“The custom officers were chasing a J5 Bus which was carrying smuggled rice and second new clothes and in the process they shot at the smugglers which hit the student. And so we had to rush the boy down to the hospital as they drove away,” Yusuf said while also displaying the empty cover of the bullet allegedly shot by the custom officers.
Another class teacher, Shawanatu Musa said the incident happened when the pupils were on break and suddenly they heard sound of gunshots and later were told that a pupil from the school was hit by the gunshot.
“We were seated when we heard loud sound of gunshots. We were preventing our pupils from going to the roadside when someone came to inform us that one of our students was shot.”
Parents of the victim, Salisu Yusuf (Father) and his mother could not talk as tears roll down their cheeks uncontrollably.
It was gathered that Bello is the only male child in the family.
Principal Personnel Officer, PPO of the Batagarawa Local Government Education Authority, LGEA, Aminu Bello expressed dismay over the incident which he said calls for urgent intervention by the government to avert future occurrence of such incidence.
When our reporter visited the Katsina/Kaduna Command of the Nigeria Custom Service, NCS to get their own side of the story, the Custom Audit Officer, Ibrahim who is sitting in for the Commands Public Relations Officer, Theophilus Duniya said the Command is not aware of the incident.
As at the time of filing in this report, information reaching our reporter has it that the little Bello was bleeding and vomiting blood just as he was said to be short of blood resulting from the injuries he sustained from the alleged gunshots.