By Dayo Johnson
Akure—A 13-year-old pupil of Community Primary School, Ajowa, in Akoko North-West Local Government Area of Ondo State, Umar Saliu, has been killed by a stray bullet from a soldier maintaining peace at a troubled border town in the state.
The deceased, according to his father, was returning from school when he was hit by the bullet, which killed him instantly.
Tension mounted in the community following the incident and the state government hurriedly deployed its officials to calm frayed nerves.
Report has it that the state governor’s Adviser on Security Matters, Alhaji Jimoh Dojumo, and the SSA on Hausa/Fulani Affairs, have visited both the community and family of the deceased boy to appeal for calm.
Also, the Commandant Army Artillery Akure, Lt. Col Ejiga, said there was no intention of killing anybody in the area.
Ejiga called for the understanding of the people on the roles being played by the military in maintaining law and order in the troubled communities. He, however, apologised on behalf of Nigerian Army.
‘It was in self-defence’
Contacted, the Assistant Director, Army Public Relations, Major Ojo Adelegan, who confirmed the incident, explained that the soldier shot the deceased in self-defence when members of the Fulani community attacked the team of soldiers that were in the community to maintain peace.
Adelegan said, “our men got information that some strange Fulani men entered into the town and we moved in to know what was happening. On getting there, our men saw those strange men and the next thing they did was to attack our men.
“They even used dangerous weapons to attack our men. So in self-defence, our men acted, though we are still investigating the matter.”
Also, the state Police Command said it has arrested one Adamu Kai in connection with the incident.
The command’s image-maker, Femi Joseph, alleged that Kai was the one that invited one of the soldiers to the scene to settle a fight that ensued among members of the Fulani community in the town.
He said: “We are yet to ascertain whether it was a soldier that killed the boy. But there was a fight between two Fulani men. So, one Abdullahi Kai invited the soldiers.
“It was in the course of settling the matter that an argument ensued between them and the soldiers, which led to the gunshot. Kai is with us now and investigation has commenced.”
It was gathered that the state Police Command said the school boy’s corpse had been released to his parents for burial.
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