A soldier fired his assault rifle, on Saturday, at a group of people at Barka da Zuwa, a notorious relaxation spot for war-fatigued soldiers and criminals in the Maiduguri Metropolitan area.
HumAngle learned that the soldier was lynched after the incident by a mob consisting of friends of the victims. The incident which happened around 8 p.m. led to the death of three people, while three others are recovering from injuries sustained.
The soldier’s rifle was moved to the Ibrahim Taiwo police outpost.
A source told HumAngle Barka da Zuwa, along the Baga road axis of Maiduguri, the state capital of Borno, has turned into a safe haven for both criminals and soldiers dismissed by the Army or deserting their units.
The Borno State Government had in 2018 marked at least 47 hotels, which it called “illegal alcohol joints,” for demolition within Maiduguri.
The Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Kaka Shehu, mentioned the threat to security and promotion of immoral conduct among teenagers as some of the key reasons the government was embarking on the demolition exercise.
Lawan was quoted by Premium Times in 2019 to have said that about 20 brothels, alcohol joints, and illegal hotels were destroyed for violating extant state laws that banned their operations since 2018.
The initial demolition exercise by the state government was followed with the construction of a 50-bed capacity hospital at Bolori 2 ward, in place of the former Barka da Zuwa Hotel, to ameliorate healthcare challenges in the area.
HumAngle has, however, learned that drug and alcohol addicts still visit the area between 4 p.m. and 10 p.m.
The Attorney-General shared a similar concern. According to him, about a year later, the demolished pleasure joints not only returned to their banned trades, “but some have also gone ahead to rebuild their demolished business premises and resumed their trade.”
“Credible intelligence obtained by the government had also indicated that the resurfaced alcohol joints and brothels are now serving as a hideaway from criminals, deserting soldiers, ritualists and places where school-age teenagers are abused sexually by both military personnel and civilians,” Lawan had told journalists.