Four persons are reported to have been shot and severely wounded on Tuesday during a clash between youths and soldiers in Panyam town in Mangu Local Government Area of Plateau State.
The youths, believed to be Okada Riders, were reported to have protested alleged extortion and maltreatment by the security operatives at the Panyam check-point.
According to reports, 8 youths have been arrested by the security operatives of Special Task Force (STF), responsible for the maintenance of peace in the State.
A reliable source, who spoke to our correspondent, blamed the incident on the youths who in protest of the allegedly extortion and maltreatment, took the law into their hands.
“It is unfortunate that the once quiet Panyam Community was woken up this morning of Tuesday with a crisis that saw the people (Security operatives), who are being paid with Tax Payers’ Money attack them.
“About 4 persons were injured by bullet wound, ’’ the source disclosed.
Another source said the trouble began when the Chairman of the Okad Riders reported the security operatives at the Town’s check point to the Sector Commander in Mangu on how they were being extorted and maltreated.
The source claimed that in display of annoyance, the soldiers decended on the leader of the Okada riders and beat him to stupor.
Consequently, the motorcyclists regrouped and sacked the soldiers at their check point, a development which did not go down well with them (Soldiers).
“They mobilized their colleagues in other parts of the LGA and decended on any community member that came their way”, the source alleged.
However, Maj. Gen Nichols Rogers, Commander of the Military Task Forçe, who visited the scene of the incident in the company of the Mangu LG Sole Administrator, Mrs Esther Polit, described it as “very sad’’ and “unfortunate.’’
He appealed to the people of the community, especially the youths, to calm down and resist any attempt of taking the law into their hands.