Residents of Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, woke up to a disturbing news about soldiers invading a United Nations building, allegedly in search of arms that were allegedly smuggled into the building by UN officials.
The building invaded by the soldiers is popularly known as Red Roof. It was acquired by the UN which currently uses it as a hostel for its personnel. Red Roof was a property of a former governor of Borno State, late Mala Kachalla.
Sources familiar with the incident said the soldiers arrived the Red Roof building in dozens at about 2 a.m., when they immediately secured all routes leading to the building.
A personnel of UN who witnessed the incident said the soldiers said they acted base on an information made available to them by the SSS that they observed sinister movement going on within the expansive property that was fenced with high walls.
The source, who pleaded anonymity because he was not permitted to speak to the media, informed PREMIUM TIMES that the incident has since promoted the UN to suspend its humanitarian activities in the state.
“The soldiers came at about 2 a.m. and surrounded the entire area around the UN building. And at about 3 a.m., they demanded that they wanted to go into the building to search for arms.
“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.”
The soldiers, who were led by one colonel said they got information from the SSS that arms were being ferried 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 who said further that “The soldiers later withdrew from the area at about 7.45 a.m.”
The search of the UN building happened a day after rumours went wild on social media that the Boko Haram leader, Abubakar Shekau, was being housed in the said building.