…residents blame govt for prolonged curfew
In what could be described as a wellplanned and calculated looting, residents of Agric Bus Stop along Lagos- Badagry Expressway, yesterday broke into a warehouse and carted away all the foods package stored in the warehouse. Yesterday’s looting was coming 24 hours after hundreds of residents at Monkey Village in Mazamaza area of Amuwo-Odofin Local Government Area stormed a warehouse and carted away thousands bags of food palliative packages donated to the state government by the Private Sector Coalition against COVID-19 (CACOVID)
This emerged as some residents blamed the frequent looting and vandalism on prolonged curfew saying when the stay at home order continues more than few days, even the law abiding residents would also opt for looting of government facilities such food warehouses.
It was learnt that the looting took place very early in the morning at the location of the warehouse which is few metres away to Army Barrack.
Saturday Telegraph gathered that residents of this community, upon discovery of the presence of the bags of food in the warehouse vandalised the warehouse and made away with bags of food items.
It was learnt that they carried as much as possible while others invited their friends to join in the looting spree. When contacted a top official of the state government, who pleaded anonymity, confirmed the incident, but called for calm, saying there was no need to worsen the tension and high tempers in the society with comments.
Saturday Telegraph gathered that thousands of food palliative packages donated to the state government by the Private Sector Coalition against COVID-19 (CACOVID) were carted away at Mazamaza was stored in the warehouse for rebagging before the distribution. According to the viral video, some young boys were seen sorting the food items while others were assisting in the movement of the food items outside the warehouse.
Meanwhile, the Lagos State Government has condemned the Maza-Maza looting, saying the food items which were recently received from the donor were kept in the warehouse for the purpose of repackage before distributing to residents. Saturday Telegraph gathered that the state Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo- Olu, had on September 22 formally taken receipt of the food palliatives from the CACOVID team meant for distribution to the indigent.
But reacting on the vandalism, the Acting Commissioner of Agriculture, Ms Nisola Olusanya, said the warehouse in question is not state owned and its usage was made available to the CaCOVID group. She added that the state government had been allowed to rebag the food items allotted to it from the quantities meant for South -West states.
She said: “The rebagging was being done to account for each beneficiary receipt, as was required and moni-tored by the CACOVID team. The distribution was on-going but had to be halted due to protests, before the invasion of the warehouse yesterday.
“For effective distribution of the food palliatives, groups such as Transport Unions, Ethnic Groups, Religious Associations, Artisans and Tradesmen Association, Marketmen and Women Association, People Living with Disabilities, Orphanages and Old Peoples’ Homes among others were being used as distribution channels to their members.”
She added that the state government,however, regrets the invasion of the warehouse and appreciate the support offered by the CACOVID group to the citizenry of Lagos.
Speaking on the development, residents blamed the development on hunger and lack of sincerity on the part of the government, saying if the residents had not looted the items, the food items will end up in politicians’ homes
A resident, who simply identified herself as Naimat, said: “The truth of the matter is those palliatives shouldn’t be in the warehouse in a functional system. How long did they intend to keep the foods when people that are in need of it are everywhere. “Besides, just our greedy nature, large part of those items are likely to end up in individual hands who may eventually rebag or repackage them for sale.”
Another resident, Mr Kola Ilori, said the government ought to have distributed the items before now.
He said: “Whatever explanation is given now by Lagos State Government is too late and they should be ashamed of themselves. “What is COVID-19 palliatives doing in a warehouse and not being given to people at the heights of the pandemic? Why was it kept in a swampy environment not in a place like Alausa?”