Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, was thrown into confusion on Wednesday evening as suspected Boko Haram members launched an attack on the city few hours after President Muhammadu Buhari visited.
At about 7 p.m., residents of Jiddari Polo, on the outskirts of Maiduguri, began to flee into the city centre through Polo and Damboa road as the terrorists attacked.
The shooting rented the air for nearly an hour forcing the residents to flee their homes.
The shooting continued as the insurgents set some houses ablaze.
Ba'Bulama Jiddari, a leader of a vigilante group in the area, told PREMIUM TIMES on the phone that "we were under attack. But we have been able to repel with the help of soldiers who later arrived."
"It was not a bomb blast but a serious attack. A house has been completely burnt down. We are still here trying to see if there is any casualty."
Rebbeca Musa who lives close to the location under attack said, "I have not seen this kind of shooting in a long time. Shells of bullets were dripping on top of my house roof and inside the compound."
Mr Bulama said the attack took place "not far from the Federal High Court complex in Polo.
A member of the Civilian-JTF, who asked not to be named, said the insurgents came through an entrance that was once manned by soldiers.
"The attack wouldn't have been possible if the soldiers had not left that location," he said.