Stray bullet from barracks hits four-year-old pupil in Ibadan

A stray bullet allegedly from the shooting range of 2 Division Nigeria Army, Adekunle Fasuyi Cantonment, in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital yesterday hit a four-year-old pupil of a nursery school.

The boy, whose name was given as Abdul Lateef Adeyemi, was within the school premises when the bullet allegedly fired by soldiers hit him in the head.

The situation has forced about 400 residents of the community to run away to avoid more casualties.

Chairman of Ajobo Omilabu Landlord Association, Alfa Kazeem Ijeru, who led members of the community to journalists in Ibadan, alleged that the bullet that hit the boy was from the on-going shooting range being conducted by soldiers at Odogbo Barracks.

The boy, he said, is presently between life and death in a military hospital as the bullet ripped through his head leaving him in the pool of his blood.

Adeyemi said: “About seven years ago, we bought our lands. It was when we got there we started hearing gunshots. We were scared and went to the landowners, who told us that it was from the barracks, assuring us not to panic as the bullets being used were rubber bullets that could not kill. But later, we discovered that this was not so.

“The first set of people who went to the barrack to complain were beaten up. We were not deterred, later, the army told us that they would not use the place as shooting range again and they would move to Alamala in Abeokuta. This stopped for some time. But this morning, around 11a.m. a boy of Oluyemisi Nursery and Primary School was hit in the head.

“We rushed there to see the GOC, but the soldiers at the gate did not allow any of us to enter except the mother of the affected child. The bullets we picked to show them as proof were collected from us. The boy was rushed to a hospital in the barracks.

“As it is, many of us will not sleep in that community tonight because the shooting range still continues. In fact, people could not rescue the boy immediately because as they wanted to pick him up, bullets were still flying around,” he narrated.

Reacting to the incident, the Deputy Director, Army Public Relations, 2 Div. Nigerian Army, Col. Ezindu Idima, said the GOC had ordered investigation into the issue to ascertain where the bullet that hit the boy came from the barracks.

He said: “Before we started the shooting range classification, we sent out a press release and also went to the communities living around the barracks. The nearest community to the barracks is about 2.3 kilometres and the effective range of an AK 47, which we used for the range classification is about 300 metres. We are investigating to know what actually happened.”

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