Tension was high in Pankshin, Plateau State on Monday when officials of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) shot guns sporadically in the air while chasing a drug suspect in a market.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the people, on hearing gunshots, scampered for safety with several of them injured, while properties were destroyed.
Some of the traders, who ran out into the streets, were knocked down by moving vehicles.
It was, however, gathered that the suspect eventually disappeared within the market.
A witness, Mrs Sarah Gofwen, told NAN that the officials of the NDLEA were hotly chasing the drug suspect, who ran into the market, to escape arrest.
“When the suspect ran into the market, they (officials) went after him in the crowd but shot their guns into the air to scare away people who might prevent them from arresting the suspect.
“It was at that point that the marketers took to their heels, suspecting that it was an attack on the town by gunmen or herdsmen, ’’ she narrated.
Mr John Danjuma, a motorist, said, “If it were not for the mercies of God, some people would have gotten killed by fast moving vehicles drivers, who were also on the run for escape.’’
Reacting, Mrs Naomi Golmwen, Management Committee Chairman of Pankshin Council, described the situation as “very unfortunate’’ as it disrupted activities in the market.
She advised the NDLEA officials to be more careful in executing their lawful duties, not to cause harm and destruction of wares of innocent marketers and buyers.
Contacted, the Plateau Police Command’s Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Mr Mathias Tyopev, confirmed the incident, adding that there was no live lost.
Acccoding to him, those who sustained injuries have been taken to the Pankshin General Hospital for treatment.
Tyopev called on the people to remain calm and go about their normal duties since the problem was between NDLEA and drug suspects in the town.