Yola, Nov. 22, 2023 – In a shocking display of violence, a clash between Nigerian Army and Police personnel in Adamawa on Tuesday night resulted in the injury of a soldier and the tragic death of a police officer at Target Junction in Yola. The incident sheds light on a longstanding issue of disregard for the rule of law and inter-agency respect within Nigeria’s security forces.
The Brigade Commander, 23 Armoured Corps, defended the actions of the troops involved in the clash between the Nigerian Army and the Police, asserting that the soldiers were on a mission to rescue a soldier who had sustained gunshot wounds.
According to the Brigade Commander, the conflict unfolded when the police allegedly fired at army personnel stationed at a checkpoint, resulting in one soldier sustaining injuries. He claimed that the police, following the incident, concealed the wounded soldier, prompting the military to take action.
“The police shot at our soldiers at a checkpoint, and a soldier was injured; they (police) hid him. Since we can’t find him, our soldiers went to rescue the person they shot. They (police) fired at those ones too. So they had to open fire. But about now, everything is calm and normal,” stated the Brigade Commander in a chat with Sahara Reporters.
Reports indicate that the injured soldier was allegedly shot in the leg by a policeman who was part of a patrol team, escalating tensions between the two security forces. The situation took a more ominous turn when a group of soldiers reportedly stormed the Police Command Headquarters in Yola around 11 pm, leading to a heavy exchange of gunfire.
Residents, fearing a Boko Haram attack, were sent into panic as the soldiers eventually retreated. The Commissioner of Police in Adamawa, Mr Afolabi Babatola, confirmed the incident, revealing that Police Inspector Jacob Daniel lost his life during the confrontations. In a stern warning, Babatola stated that attacks on security officers in the line of duty would no longer be tolerated, emphasizing that such conflicts would be addressed in accordance with the law.
Brigade Commander, 23 Armored Corps, Brig. Gen. Gambo Mohammed, shed light on the origins of the fracas, attributing it to the shooting of a soldier by some policemen. The injured soldier was swiftly taken to the Federal Medical Centre in Yola for medical attention.
This incident underscores a troubling trend of internal conflict within Nigeria’s security apparatus, with the need for urgent measures to ensure adherence to the rule of law and foster mutual respect among various law enforcement agencies. The Commissioner of Police’s assurance of legal intervention and appeal for calm indicates the gravity of the situation and the imperative for swift and decisive action to prevent further escalation. The people of Yola are left grappling with the aftermath of a night marred by violence, questioning the very institutions entrusted with their safety and security.