By James Sowole
Enforcement team of naval personnel on the dusk to dawn curfew imposed on Ondo State to curb the spread of COVID-19 in the state late Thursday allegedly burnt a pharmacy shop at Igbokoda, headquarters of Ilaje Local Government Area of the state.
The burning of the shop was revealed in a petition sent to the Ondo State Governor, Mr. Oluwarotimi Akeredolu by the Ilaje Leadership Forum.
In the petition signed by Prince Emorioloye Owolemi it was alleged that the security agents attached to the enforcement team, were annoyed when at about 7:15p.m. that they got to Ominira Street, a pharmacy shop was still open.
The forum noted that the naval personnel swooped on the shop despite exception for pharmacy, food sellers and hospitals for the purpose of attending to urgent humanity needs.
The petition states: “On 16th April 2020, at about 7:15p.m., the group of the naval officers on patrol invaded a pharmacy shop owned by a young lady at Omonira Street, Igbokoda, while her two children had already slept in the shops.
“The naval men while observing that the shop was not closed, and forgetting that pharmacies were exception of the order so they can attend to ill people.
“The naval officers thereby felt angry for such pharmacy shop not to have closed, and immediately fired gunshots at the shop and burnt the whole shop.
“It was community efforts that rescued the two children who were already asleep.
The shop was burnt down completely with all items therein.
“If at all that any shop owner who breaches the law needs punishment whatsoever, the state only directed for arrest and prosecution.”
The group therefore appealed to Akeredolu to urgently investigate the ugly incident being carried out by the members of the Nigeria Navy, Igbokoda in Ilaje local government.
We demand justice for this young lady whose means of survival has been burnt by the naval officers who are meant to save lives
While reacting to the incident, the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) for Ondo State Command, Mr. Tee Leo Ikoro, said it was a case of accident.
Ikoro said: “I have gotten in touch with the. Police Area Commander in the Area over there, what happened was that the police and the naval officers were on a patrol in the area to enforce the curfew.
“So, there was this woman frying beans cake and selling Indomine close the store and immediately she saw the security patrol team she ran and abandoned the gas cylinder she was using in frying.
“Before, we knew it the thing caught fire and it spread to the medicine store and it was the same Naval officers that even put off the fire”.