Five youths were on Monday shot dead by soldiers during a confrontation in Maiduguri, the capital of Borno State.
The victims, who were members of the youth vigilante group in the town, had allegedly accosted a convoy of the 7th Division of the Nigerian Army, with headquarters in Maiduguri, escorting ammunition that came in through the Maiduguri International Airport in a private commercial trailer.
It was learnt that the youths had blocked most of the roads in the town as a security precaution against any attack during the campaign rally of the All Progressives Congress presidential candidate, Maj. Gen. Muhammadu Buhari(retd.), in the town.
The youths reportedly asked to check the trailer and when the soldiers refused, they (the youths) forcefully climbed the vehicle and also made a bonfire on the road to make it difficult for the soldiers to move the trailer.
The action of the youths was said to have angered the soldiers, who, according to eyewitnesses, resorted to shooting at the youths.
The five died in the confrontation while many others sustained injuries.
A security source told our correspondent that it was wrong for the youths to accost soldiers.
The source said, “It was an affront on the military for some armed youths under any guise to accost military officials on the road.
“They even went a step further to set bonfire which could have caused a massive explosion as the trailer was filled with thousands of explosives.
“They left our men with no other choice but to shoot at them.”
The source said the trailer was contracted by the military to convey the ammunition when the initial Army vehicle ferrying the ammunition developed fault on the way.