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Covid-19 palliative looting - Nigerians possess their possessions

The past few weeks have been painted with different dramatic scenes, where mammoth crowds were seen thronging different warehouses across the federation and carting away food stuffs worth millions of naira.

Photo - ( Angry Nigeria Citizens Loot COVID-19 Palliatives Warehouses )
 Photo - ( Angry Nigeria Citizens Loot COVID-19 Palliatives Warehouses ) 

It all started in somewhere in Festac, Lagos, later Ikorodu in the same state. It quickly spread across other states such as; Ekiti, Taraba, Adamawa, Plateau, Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Abuja and many other states of the federation.

The growing spate of looting across the nation even motivated some men in Uniform to join in the looting; during the Lagos showdown, a viral video surfaced online showing  a police truck with OP MESA inscription on it loading the back of the truck with looted Covid-19 palliatives.

Also a Nigerian Security and Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC) member, Illiya Ibrahim who was spotted carting away Covid-19 palliatives was dismissed on the grounds of involvement in the criminal act of looting government reserved palliatives to fight pandemic.

The most shocking part is a legislator and majority leader of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Sanai Agunbiade (a.k.a SOB) whose apartment in Ikorodu, Lagos was discovered to have housed loads of Covid-19 palliatives. The most interesting part is his statement claiming publicly that he intended to share the palliatives on his coming birthday.

Another surprising highly placed person found in connection with the covid-19 palliatives was the Oba of Lagos, Oba Rilwan Babatunde Osuolale Aremu Akiolu whose apartment was stormed by angry mob only to discover that his royal abode also was serving as a storeroom for the palliatives in question.

Many government officials have been throwing tantrums around because of the recent looting spree which has left many warehouses empty and even some private shops and stores such as ShopRite have also been looted in the process. These among many other recent realities have raised many concerns for those in government.

Photo - ( Thugs Invade Shoprite, Loot Goods )

                                                            

Who is to blame for the recent discoveries of warehouses where covid-19 palliatives were stored? Is it the protesters that motivated the continuous looting of warehouses across the federation? Or it is the complete and deliberate neglect of the masses that orchestrated the irate nature of the people at this time? Could it be the hunger and starvation in the land that is the motivating factor? Are there things that should have been done but left to chance which is now causing mayhem for the ruling class?

The opinions surrounding these events have been rather divided and could be seen as relative as many people’s opinion on the matter seems divided.

To the current administration and government officials, it is wrong and criminal to loot warehouses where the palliatives were stored. And according the statements of some of the government officials, the storage was done in preparation for the expected second phase of the pandemic.

To that effect, the governor of Adamawa State Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri though a Press Release, issued an executive order for a house-to-house search for the looted covid-19 palliatives in the state and promised that anyone found culpable of being in possession of any of the items shall surely be prosecuted.

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Also, the Plateau State government has also issued a public notice to all involved in the Jos covid-19 palliatives looting to return all the looted items and be granted amnesty in return issuing a 2weeks ultimatum to anyone and everyone guilty of the act.

Some state governors have given orders to policemen to apprehend all those involved in the looting, some alleged criminals have been caught so far as reported by the media. However, we all should ask ourselves the difficult question; “why in the world would anyone want to keep the palliatives in the first place?”

For instance, the lawmaker who claimed he wanted to share the palliatives found at his residence during his birthday, was the palliatives meant for his birthday celebration? Or what is the justification for the governors who claimed they were storing the palliatives up in anticipation for a second phase of the pandemic when the people almost lose their lives as a result of hunger during the first phase?

Photo - ( Angry Nigeria Citizens Loot COVID-19 Palliatives Warehouses ) 

At what point in this country’s history are we going to address the root cause of problems and stop picking at the problems from the top? How do we expect a set of hungry youths to stop accepting bribes and tips from the elitist class when they feel threatened by the ruling class? When will the son of nobody become somebody without knowing anybody?

The political theory in practice in Nigeria is; keep the citizens poor and impoverished, keep them dependent on the ruling class, then you keep holding on to power, because you possess the power at all times.

The way out of the wood for this country is for the masses to understand that, the power resides with them (the electorates), and they can change anything with unity and togetherness.

Also, the government needs to understand that the era of coming to the electorates with empty manifestoes are over, the era of promising water, roads, electricity and job creation is gradually fizzling out and the people are more aware of the things they want more than ever before.

My stand is; if the government had been responsive enough to public outcries, there would not have been warehouse looting in the first place. If the citizens were better educated and informed, there would not have been looting of public properties from the outset.

The blame goes to both ends; the government should indeed lead by playing her role of providing social amenities, this will in turn encourage tax evaders to turn a new leaf and pay their taxes promptly, and this will in no time give birth to a new generation citizens who are duty bound to their country.

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