Some additional information has surfaced regarding the assault on the Nigeria Police headquarters in Yola, Adamawa State on Tuesday night, resulting in the unfortunate demise of a police inspector.
Daily Trust had reported how residents of the Adamawa State capital were thrown into panic following heavy gunshots fired around the state police command’s headquarters with early reports suspecting a possible attack by Boko Haram terrorists.
Drinking joints, shops and other night businesses were quickly closed as residents called friends and families to confirm their safety and enquire about the incident.
Hours later, a clearer picture began to emerge that soldiers from the 23 Armoured Brigade in Yola accompanied by military equipment arrived at the state police command with an armoured tank and engaged in a gun battle with policemen on duty at the facility.
A witness told Daily Trust that three soldiers had an altercation with policemen who were on stop-and-search duty at Target Junction in Jimeta in the Yola North area and one of the soldiers pulled a jack knife and attempted to disarm the policemen.
This, according to the source, led one of the policemen to shoot the soldier in the leg, leading to the soldiers’ reprisal attack on the police headquarters, during which an inspector, Jacob Daniel, was killed in the crossfire.
One of the policemen who tried to repel the soldiers during the attack said the soldiers deployed a dozen trucks and an armoured tank and opened fire when the police denied them access to the facility.
“At first, we thought it was Boko Haram. It was a rain of bullets, they fired and we returned fire. That was around 11 pm night. In the end, they killed an inspector and took away his rifle”, the source said.
The Police Public Relations Officer, Sulaiman Nguroje confirmed the incident in a statement on Wednesday indicating that the Commissioner of Police, Afolabi Babatola had ordered an investigation into the matter while working with the leadership of the military to resolve it. The statement further indicated that the police would not tolerate attacks on any security personnel in the course of duty. When contacted, the Brigade Commander, Brigadier General Gambo Muhammad told journalists on the phone that soldiers were at the police headquarters to rescue a soldier who was shot and detained by the police.
“The police shot at our men at a checkpoint and a soldier was injured. Our soldiers went to rescue him and they (the police) fired at those ones too. But now, everything is calm and normalcy has returned, the commander said.
Following the incident, the Adamawa State governor, Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri described the incident as unacceptable, while calling for calm and tolerance.
Fintiri in a press statement made available to newsmen, on Wednesday by his Chief Press Secretary, Humwashi Wonosikou, expressed regret over the ugly incident and assured that the government was on top of the situation.
While appealing to the parties to exercise restraint in the overall peace of the state, the governor urged all security personnel on special assignments to remain at their duty post and conduct themselves with a high sense of maturity.
“I am concerned that such acrimony could have lasting consequences on the hard-earned peace we have been able to build over the years.”
“I appeal to all security personnel for restraint, mutual respect, and tolerance for one another as people destined to work together in this great state. I appeal for patience and understanding as the administration works towards lasting solutions to these conflicts,” Fintiri said.
By press time, a joint press conference between the army and the police was said to be ongoing at the government house, Yola on the matter.