Warehouses looted in Abia, Abuja, Taraba

Residents of Abia state at the weekend broke into a warehouse in Umuahia they suspected the government had hoarded COVID-19 palliatives.

Vanguard reports that the angry youths got a tip-off that the warehouse was loaded with bags of rice and noodles.

The youths mobilized and broke into the warehouse and looted some bags they believed were filled with rice.

However, the State Commissioner for Information, John Okiyi-Kalu told journalists that there were no palliatives in the warehouse palliatives but bags of fertilizers and rice seedlings.

Okiyi-Kalu, who described the protesters as “palliative hunters”, explained that the state government had distributed its stock of palliatives to churches, town unions, state geriatric agency and the 17 local council areas.

He added that the state government recently bought palliatives which it also distributed to some victims of the #EndSARS protests in the state

“In his words; “It is unfortunate that a private warehouse was attacked this morning with bags of fertilizer and rice seedlings carted away by unidentified hoodlums.

“We must stop the hoodlums from further inflicting misery on us by drawing a line between peaceful #EndSARS protests and criminality.

“Ordinarily, Abia State Government sees peaceful protest as part of democratic governance and will under no circumstance stop peaceful protesters. 

"At the same time, no responsible government will sit down and watch anarchists endanger the people’s life and livelihood”, he warned.

Also suspected hoodlums, on Sunday, invaded the Idu Industrial Layout in Abuja, raiding several warehouses.

PUNCH reports that the thugs made away with bags of rice, cartons of tin tomatoes,  cereals, milk, bales of Ankara materials, and other items.

It was observed that despite the presence of policemen, the defiant mob continued to plunder warehouses.

The hoodlums were seen loading tricycles and motorcycles with the stolen goods as policemen fired teargas.

In Taraba state, no fewer than six persons were said to have died and many injured in the stampede a government warehouse in Jalingo.

PUNCH reports that the incident occurred when residents broke into the warehouse and carted away COVID-19 palliatives.

Eyewitnesses said that about six corpses were moved to the mortuary in the early hours of Sunday.

“We took about six bodies to the federal medical centre morgue between yesterday (Saturday) and the early hours of today.

“There is hunger in the land and thousands of people moved in to get the food palliatives and unfortunately some died in the process.

“This is what the government wants by refusing to share the items.”

Meanwhile, the Taraba State Government has imposed a curfew on Jalingo following the invasion of government warehouses with palliatives and other stores in the state.

State Deputy Governor, Haruna Manu announced this in a statewide broadcast in Jalingo.

Manu said the curfew would run from 11 pm on Saturday to 8 am on Monday when the government would further review the situation.

But despite the curfew, the looting spree continued on Sunday as the COVID-19 isolation centre at the NYSC Orientation Camp, fertilizer stores, and Essential Drugs among other government and private offices were looted.

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