After residents looted the COVID-19 palliatives warehouse in Ilorin, Kwara State capital city, on Friday evening, an angry mob proceeded to the office of the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) demanding access to the facility.
PREMIUM TIMES had earlier reported how major places in the city were in disarray after hundreds of residents broke into the warehouse housing food items stored for distribution as COVID-19 palliatives.
Video footage and pictures obtained by PREMIUM TIMES showed people carting food items like noodles, spaghetti, rice, sugar and garri from the warehouse located around the Ilorin International Airport.
Many used motorcycles and buses to transport food items from the warehouse to their respective homes.
Witnesses told PREMIUM TIMES that the mob attempted breaking into the service’s base but were repelled by soldiers.
The soldiers shot sporadically into the air to disperse the thugs, one of the eyewitnesses said.
Also, during the process, a car driver was mobbed after hitting two of those present at the scene. The vehicle was burnt down.
A total of four persons have been injured but PREMIUM TIMES could not ascertain the condition of the victims while filling this report.
As of the time of reporting, PREMIUM TIMES learnt that major areas of the city have been blocked by the hoodlums with the indication that the state government might declare a curfew soon.
Reacting to the episodes of violence and looting in the city, the Kwara State government has condemned the attacks.
“Attack by some hoodlums on the cargo terminal in Ilorin to prey on palliatives meant for the poor is condemnable, inexplicable, and does not reflect the good nature of the people of the state,” the state commissioner of information, Harriet Afolabi-Oshatimehin, said on Friday evening.
Mrs Afolabi-Oshatimehin added that the CACOVID, the coalition of organisations in the private sector established to help the state government combat the coronavirus, had since September 23 flagged off the distribution of the palliatives.
“But it was meant for specific households, as dictated by CACOVID, and so names had to be properly generated to allow for transparent and orderly distribution.”
She noted the state government had since distributed the majority of the palliatives to the identified vulnerable households in 15 of the 16 local government areas of the state.
In a similar vein, the spokesperson of the Kwara State governor, Rafiu Ajakaye, said there was another incident at Agro Mall, which involved the recent food palliatives donated by the federal government.
The food items looted was meant for Edu, Patigi, Moro and Ifelodun local government areas.
“There were also attacks on Customs and some private firms. It is a case of pure hooliganism and pure greed, which have no place in human civilization,” he told PREMIUM TIMES.