Salkida, Nigeria Army disagree on Boko Haram attack in Maiduguri
Nigeria Army has refuted reports that the insurgency group, Boko Haram attacked some of its personnel in Maiduguri, Borno State on election day, Saturday, February 23.
Instead, Nigeria Army said gunfire heard in the area was not targeted at members of the public, but for ‘security calculations’.
“There is no report of an attack on Maiduguri township or its neighbouring communities. As at now Borno State especially Maiduguri township is calm and peaceful. People have already started voting in many locations across the state,” a spokesman for Nigeria Army Sagir Musa said in a tweet.
Contrary to Nigeria Army’s claim, Ahmad Salkida, who is a journalist known to be knowledgeable on the workings of the different factions Boko Haram in Nigeria’s northeast, reported that there were morning attacks on Maiduguri metropolis by Boko Haram insurgents.
He said the attacks were repelled by Nigerian troops on Saturday, February 23, the day Africa’s biggest democracy is going to poll to elect a new president.
However, the army refuted the report.
Although, the army spokesman admitted there was gunfire in the environment, but did not state who was responsible for the shots.
He simply said, “The gunfire was not targeted at members of the public but was for security calculations.”
Musa, who noted that the environment was secured, said, “The public is requested to massively come out to exercise their fundamental right to cast their votes for the candidates of their choices.”
He disclosed that “a futile attack on a security outpost in Geidam general area in Yobe State has been recorded. No casualty was recorded. The situation is calm and peaceful. People have largely turned out to cast their votes without any hindrance.”
Salkida, however, said the army’s claim to disrepute the reported was false.
The journalist alleged that the army lacked transparency and accountability.
“Security officials claimed, the heavy explosions and sporadic gunfire in #Maiduguri this morning are mere drills. Many residents disagree,” Salkida said.
He questioned, “Why would the military staged unannounced gunfire, multiple explosions in sequence in a very tensed environment few hours to voting time?”
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