Following the killings at Lekki toll gate on Tuesday, the president’s tough speech on Wednesday, many people were concerned about what Thursday would bring. Thursday last week began the food fest that has swept the entire nation off her feet. This food fest in more truthful terms is the looting of covid-19 palliative warehouses across the nation. And it has also resulted in some of the worst cases of arson and carnage we have seen in a while.
About 10 states have suffered this fate, and the general perspective is that it continues. Most people feel cheated out of what they claim is a constitutional right. Is this true? While we feel sorry for the poor hungry masses, is it right to commend the acts of carnage, lawlessness, and greed that followed? Warehouses were found and looted in:
MazaMaza, Lagos state
Last Thursday, a warehouse full of covid-19 palliatives was found at Mazamaza community in Oriade local council development area of Lagos state. The warehouse was broken into by suspected hoodlums who found the place to be filled with branded food items. The residents of the community then proceeded to empty the warehouse. Prior to this, some covid-19 palliatives were found in the palace of the Oba of Lagos during the sack by some youths.
Ilorin, Kwara state
On Friday evening, residents broke into the covid-19 palliative warehouses located around the Ilorin International Airport and the Agro Mall in Kwara state. Residents used motorcycles and buses to cart away noodles, spaghetti, rice, and garri. The huge number of persons did not stop security operatives from opening fire, however.
Calabar, Cross River state
On the 23rd of October,2020, the Cross River covid-19 palliative warehouses were broken into. The warehouses on Bishop Moinagh street, State Housing Authority in Calabar were looted by residents and suspected thugs. Residents were seen carting away cartons of noodles, bags of rice, and gallons of vegetable oil. The sounds of gunshots weren’t enough to deter the masses either.
Benin, Edo state
As early as 7 am last Saturday, residents around the Uselu Shell area of Benin city were already at the government warehouse on medical stores road. They were held back, however by the presence of the soldiers of the Nigerian army. Shots were fired but it didn’t stop the people from creating alternate entrances for themselves. They carted away with anything and everything on-site, food items, gas cylinders, and deep freezers. Some private warehouses were also looted in the frenzy.
Jos, Plateau state
A covid-19 palliative warehouse in Bukuru, Jos was also raided last Saturday. Video footage has shown thousands of residents swarming the warehouse and carting away bags of rice, beans, and garri. They also carried away cartons of noodles, pasta, and sugar. The warehouse is said to belong to the State Emergency Management Agency.
Residents were largely disappointed as attempts to break into a covid-19 palliative warehouse proved abortive. The warehouse, which is located at the popular UTC in Area 10 in Abuja was heavily guarded by men of the police, army, and DSS. The security operatives repeatedly fired their guns to dissuade any attempt to loot the warehouse.
Ede, Osun state
Last Friday, youths in Osun trooped out in their hundreds to the now-defunct cocoa-ceramic industry where covid-19 palliatives were kept. The palliatives were kept in a warehouse there and thoroughly looted. There were no attempts to stop them. Motorcyclists and private vehicles were present to help the angry residents carry away noodles, sugar, salt, and other items.
Jalingo, Taraba state
People in Jalingo were not left out in the ongoing food for all fest going on across the country. The residents overpowered security operatives and plundered the warehouse. Video footage also shows the residents driving tricycles and pushing carts into the warehouse to aid their mission. There was a stampede at the scene too.
Barnawa, Kaduna state
On Saturday, only a few residents were able to invade the compound in Barnawa before the arrival of security operatives. The warehouse in a compound in Barnawa was spared the fate of others across the country, as only a few items were carted out before security operatives mounted a barricade around the warehouse.
Maybe the government in Sokoto state is smarter. Whatever the case may be, they commenced the distribution of covid-19 palliatives on Saturday. The beneficiaries of the palliatives were residents of three local government areas in the state, Ida, Sabon Birni, and Gada. The State Emergency Management Agency has since promised to continue in other LGAs.
An exciting turn of events, don’t you think? And puzzling too. This chain of events begs the questions, who are the whistleblowers? Is this yet another government-sponsored distraction? What do you think?