From Ron-Well Jacob, Jos.
The tension and stampede recorded in Pankshin Local Government Area (LGA) of Plateau on Monday was by suspected Police Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) officials, not National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) agents as earlier thought.
The suspected SARS officials action had caused pandemonium, which led to the people sustaining injuries, loss, and destruction of wares.
Mrs Naomi Golmwen, Pankshin Council Chairman, told Everyday.ng on Tuesday that report later came to her that the people who caused the unfortunate incident in the market were SARS officials.
“The DPO of Pankshin Division has assured us that his office will try and trace where the SARS officials came from.
“The unfortunate and sad incident had resulted to some people having fractures and various degrees of injuries in the process of scampering for their dear lives, ’’ she disclosed.
Golmwen further said, “as a council, we are trying to take stock and see how we can show sympathy to those affected and console those who had fractures by assisting them in our little way.’’
She appealed to the citizens of the Area, especially the youths to to be cailm and not take laws in to their hands “no matter the provocation.’’
The council boss said that it was gathered that the SARS officials randomly arrested three youths and drove away with them only to drop them by Ner village along Pankshin – Langtang road to trek back to Pankshin Town.
An security official, who preferred anonymity because he is not authorised to speak, told Everday.ng that the suspected SARS officials came from Shendam, their alleged place of primary assignment.
“We went to the market square this morning (Tuesday) and conducted a search and we are lucky to find one bullet shell that was shot yesterday.’’
“Our findings revealed that it was SARS officials that went after some boys who usually gathered behind the Abattoir in the market to smoke Indian hemp and take other hard drugs, and shot in the air when they ran after them (suspects).
“We have contracted some boys to keep the search for more bullet shells for us to conclude our report on the stampede at the market on Monday, ’’ the official said.
According to him, “most people wrongly concluded it was NDLEA officials since the security men were chasing drug suspects especially in a place that is known to be the den of drug addicts.’’
Nonetheless, some of the victims who had fractures as a result of the stampede include a 45 year-old mother of six children, Mrs Martina Sati and one Mrs Dokyit Michael
While Mrs Sati broke one of her legs, Mrs Michael broke an arm. The two women are from Tasuk and Kwala villages respectively both of Wokkos District of Pankshin LGA.
When our Correspondent made a call to the Plateau Police Command Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Mr Mathias Tyopev, he promised to get back to him with a response on where the SARS officials came from but he his response is still being awaited.