At least one person has been confirmed dead and many others injured after Nigerian soldiers attacked officials of the COVID-19 Committee in Borno State.
The soldiers, disregarding ongoing interstate travel ban, forced their way through the entrance gate to Borno and allowed hundreds of illegal travelers into the town.
The armed personnel, who arrived in three gun trucks, allegedly threatened to open fire on the COVID-19 Committee members led by the state attorney general and a commissioner of health.
While breaking through the barricade, the soldiers rammed through a patrol truck of the State Rapid Response Squad which forced the vehicle somersaulting in the bush. All local security personnel in the vehicle sustained injuries.
The driver of the RRS truck died hours later at the Borno Specialist Hospital.
The soldiers also knocked down some commercial tricycles (Keke Napep). Three women, including a pregnant woman and a baby, sustained fractures.
While allowing hundreds of travellers into the state in violation of the restriction order, the soldiers also assaulted a photojournalist attached to the committee while he was filming the vehicles streaming into the city.
The Borno government imposed a restriction of interstate travel in May. Only persons on essential duties or with the issued pass are allowed into the state.
The COVID-19 Committee has also ruled that violators of the interstate travel restriction would be detained in a quarantine facility for 14 days.
“We were assaulted today and it is quite unfortunate that it is a federal government law enforcement agency that is responsible,” said Kaka Shehu, the attorney general of Borno.