Two persons are reported to have been killed and several others injured in the capital of Borno State, Maiduguri, Monday evening as a clash broke out between soldiers and Volunteer Vigilance Youths’ Group, popularly known as ‘Civilian JTF’.
The two had enjoyed a cordial working relationship until recently when the arrest of some suspected insurgents led to distrust between these partners, who have jointly recorded some measure of success in the fight against Boko Haram.
According to online news site, Sahara Reporters, the volunteers had captured five armed persons with guns and accused them of being terrorists.
However, trouble reportedly started when soldiers from Sector 2 in Maiduguri seized the suspects, claiming that they were soldiers although in mufti. That claim did not go down well with the volunteers, who in their attempt to resist the move incurred the wrath of the soldiers as they started shooting.
The shooting reportedly led to the killing of at least two persons, as well as some injuries.
The angry youths later took to the streets along Maiduguri-Gambo-Ngala road blocking the highway, causing heavy traffic and chanting anti-military slogans.
Another online news site, PREMIUM TIMES, reports that the irate youths were chanting in Hausa: “sojoji ne Boko Haram, Soja ogan-Boko Haram (translation: soldiers are the real Boko Haram; soldiers are masters of Boko Haram)”.
The military authorities are yet to issue a statement clarifying the perceived breach of trust between troops and the Civilian JTF, whose roles at complementing the efforts of security forces in the fight against Boko Haram has been widely acknowledged.