Some soldiers in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital stormed the United Nations building in the state in search of arms that were allegedly smuggled into the building.
It was learnt that the building which was raided by soldiers, popularly known as Red Roof, was a property of a former governor of Borno State, late Mala Kachalla.
It was also gathered that the building, which was acquired by the UN is presently used as a hostel for its personnel.
The source, who pleaded anonymity, disclosed that the soldiers who arrived at the Red Roof building at about 2 a.m secured all routes to the building, adding that the incident has since made the UN to suspend its humanitarian activities in the state.
He said, “But the UN officials denied them access insisting that it was against their policy to allow armed soldiers invade their offices or buildings, especially at such odd hours of the night.”
An official of UN said the soldiers said they acted base on intelligence by the SSS that they observed sinister movement going on within the building.
The soldiers, who were led by a colonel said they got information from the SSS that arms were being carried into the buildings in large wooden containers.
“We all know there was nothing like that because the containers that they were referring to were building materials which the UN is using to upgrade or build some structures sitting the acquired property. Presently the property serves as a place of accomodation for all the UN humanitarian workers in Maiduguri.
“When the soldiers wanted to force their way into the property, the security men had to lock the gate.”
The source the soldiers and the UN security personnel argued for hours until about 7 a.m.when they finally allowed them in.
“They searched the entire building and found nothing”, said the source.
“The soldiers later withdrew from the area at about 7.45 a.m.”
The search of the UN building is sequel to the rumours on social media that the Boko Haram leader, Abubakar Shekau, was being housed in the UN building.
A civil society leader in Borno State, Ahmed Shehu, was also at the scene of the incident at the Red Roof, said the civil society would investigate what led to such hostile disposition of soldiers towards the UN.
“We got the information late last night that this place has been surrounded by soldiers, that is why we are here,” he said.
“But whatever may be the soldiers reason, the invasion was not a good indicator for security. Already, people are agitated and are even bearing wrong perception about the humanitarian workers here. This could embolden the IDPs who see the humanitarian workers as their enemies.
“It is even sad to hear that all UN flights coming into Maiduguri have been cancelled for today; though it has not been confirmed.”
He said civil society networks will meet with the UN officials and probably come up with a statement later.
However, efforts made by journalists to speak with the spokesperson of the military command in Borno proved abortive.
Source: Naija News