•As looting, arson spread across the country
•Homes of all elected federal serving and former lawmakers in Cross River looted, razed, governor flies to Abuja with wife and brother
•Senator Folarin: Over 350 motorcycles, 400 freezers, others looted from my house in Ibadan
•Hoodlums break into govt, Red Cross Covid-19 palliatives warehouses in several states
•S’West govs visit Lagos today
•Sanwo-Olu warns against ethnic, religious incitements as Tinubu makes public appearance, says I am Jagaban
The Inspector-General (IG) of Police, Mr. Mohammed Adamu, apparently exasperated with the continuing looting and wanton destruction of public and private properties around the country yesterday, responded in a very authoritative tone to the growing lawlessness being a direct aftermath of the #ENDSARS protests. Adamu warned troublemakers not to test the collective will of the nation by coming out to cause any further breakdown of law and order.
The IG ordered the immediate mobilisation of all police operational assets and resources to bring an end to the violence, killings, looting, and destruction of public and private property. Specifically, he ordered all Assistant Inspectors-General of Police (AIGs), Commissioners of Police (CPs), Heads of Police Operational Units, Squadron and Base Commanders in charge of Zonal/State/FCT Commands, the Police Mobile Force, Counter Terrorism Unit, and the Special Protection Unit, to immediately reclaim the public space from criminal elements masquerading as protesters in some parts of the country.
This is coming two days after President Muhammadu Buhari addressed the nation and sued for calm following the violent turn of the #ENDSARS protest in Lagos State, which has spread to other parts of the country in the form of looting and arson.
But in his assessment of the state of the nation, Katsina State Governor Aminu Masari, whose state has been battling unceasing insecurity for some time, described the current situation in many parts of Nigeria as the country’s most trying times.
To underscore the weight of the current crisis, which seemed like the opportunity for many people to give vent to their economic frustration, the protests moved from #ENDSARS to end corruption and bad governance, and, then, turned violent, as hoodlums hijacked the process. Many of the angry youths, yesterday, stormed the homes of some prominent Nigerians, especially, current and past public office holders, which they raided and, in several instances, razed to the ground in expression of their anger.
Some of those that suffered monumental losses in the various isolated attacks all serving and former federal lawmakers from Cross River State, included Senators Victor Ndoma-Egba, and Gershom Bassey. The Governor, Professor Ben Ayade had hurriedly travelled to Abuja with his wife and brother on the grounds that he was going to mobilise security forces to protect vital installations within the state. Senator Teslim Folarin (Oyo State) equally suffered huge losses when a large crowd of people broke into his Ibadan residence and looted it completely.
In a statement on Saturday after the incident, he revealed that over 1,100 empowerment items such as motorcycles, deep freezers, generators, and grinding machines, among others were looted from his house at the Oluyole Estate extension in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital.
Senator Folarin, who is also the Senate Committee Chairman on Local Content, believes the attack was carried out by those he described as coordinated hoodlums.
He described the invasion as evil, barbaric and unfortunate, saying he was thankful that no fatality was recorded.
The lawmaker, however, advised the state government to strengthen its security architecture to prevent a reoccurrence of such an incident.
Also yesterday large crowd of people, men, women, young and middle age, also broke into some of the warehouses in different parts of the country, where COVID-19 palliatives were kept by the different state governments, organisations, like the Red Cross, as well as individuals, and looted them, ostensibly.
In Lagos State, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu warned against ethnic and religious colouration of the incidents, and incitements in the state, saying his government would not take kindly to deliberate acts of misinformation.
Similarly, a former governor of the state and national leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, who has been a prime target of some of the seemingly coordinated attacks in the state, made his first public appearance since the protests, yesterday. Tinubu condemned the looting and arson in the aftermath of the protests.
Meanwhile, governors of states in the South-west geopolitical zone are visiting their Lagos State counterpart, Sanwo-Olu, today at noon to show their solidarity and empathy over the destructions witnessed in the state, when the peaceful #ENDSARS protest was hijacked and became violent.
The Lagos State Ministry of Justice said it would prosecute some of the suspects, who allegedly took advantage of the #ENDSARS protest to destroy and loot both public and private property in different parts of the state. The ministry said it was currently evaluating the files of 229 persons already arrested for various crimes during the protest-turned riots.
A statement issued by the Police Force Headquarters said, CPs and heads of police formations in the various states should mobilise their men to dominate the public space and ensure peace and safety in their areas of authority.
The IG, in the statement signed by Force PRO, Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) Frank Mba, said, “Enough is enough to all acts of lawlessness, disruption of public peace and order and wanton violence, which have resulted to indiscriminate looting of shops, malls and warehouses, damage to property and loss of lives in some parts of the country.”
He directed the AIGs, CPs and MPF Commanders to personally lead and coordinate the operations and use all legitimate means to halt further slide into lawlessness and brigandage.
While calling for the understanding and cooperation of the citizens and assuring them that the action was geared towards ensuring public order, safety, and security in the communities, the IG warned “trouble-makers not to test the collective will of the nation by coming out to cause any further breakdown of law and order.”
He, however, enjoined law-abiding citizens not to panic but join forces with the police and other members of the law enforcement community to protect their communities from the criminal elements.
Apparently concerned by the spate of killings and destruction of property by hoodlums across the country, Masari, said the country was passing through one of the most difficult times in its history. He spoke at the inauguration of a judicial commission of inquiry to investigate the excesses and extra-judicial activities of the now disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) unit of the Nigeria Police in the state. The governor called for deployment of democratic tenets, culture and conventions that would mitigate the predicaments and stop the killings and destruction of property.
He stated, “As you are all aware, the nation is passing through one of its most trying periods in our history. It, therefore, calls for deployment of democratic tenets, culture and conventions to confront the problems.
“Chapter four of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria provides for the fundamental objectives and principles of state policy to include that the security and welfare of the people and shall be the primary responsibility of government and that the participation of people in their government shall be ensured in accordance with the provisions of the constitution.”
He explained that the Nigeria Police was scheduled with the responsibility of protecting life and property of citizens, prevention and investigation of crimes and offences committed against the state, but contrary actions remained the problem of the force.
According to him, “The citizens of Nigeria have been complaining on the way and manner the police are discharging their constitutional responsibilities and, therefore, call for reforms of the institution.”
The governor said he inaugurated the judicial panel in compliance with the presidential directive and the powers conferred on him under the constitution and Katsina State Commission of Inquiry Law, Cap 29. He charged members of the panel to identify officers and men of the dissolved SARS directly or indirectly involved in the excesses, including extra-judicial actions, and ascertain the roles played by such officers and individuals in instigating, aiding or abetting extra-judicial actions, and apportion blame.
The 11-man panel has Justice Abbas Abdullahi Bawale of the Katsina State High Court as chairman and Ibrahim Muhammad Daku as secretary. Other members include Retired AIG Danlami Yar’adua, Mustapha Ibrahim Zango, Bello Musa Dankano, Professor Usman Dhun-nurain, Rabi Mohammed, Ibrahim Ahmad Katsina, Dikko Abbas, and Aliyu Usman.
Meanwhile, hoodlums, yesterday had a field day in Calabar, the Cross River State capital, where they looted and set ablaze public and private property. The hoodlums set on fire the family residence of Senator Gershom Bassey, located at Mayne Avenue in Calabar. They also ransacked and looted the senator’s personal residence at Asari Eso Layout. They set ablaze the residence of a former leader of the Senate, Victor Ndoma-Egba, also located along Asari Eso Layout.
The violent protesters, who defied the 24-hour curfew put in place by Governor Ben Ayade, went on to vandalise and loot the private residence of Senator Bassey Ewa Henshaw.
In spite of the 24-hour curfew, the city of Calabar remained in a state of anarchy for almost 48 hours, as hell was let loose with government and private property worth billions of naira destroyed and looted.
Other property either looted or burnt by the hoodlums included the Municipal Zonal office of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) at Marian Road, Valuemart Supermarket at Marian Road, Federal Psychiatric Hospital, Calabar Road, Garment Factory along Goodluck Jonathan bypass, First Bank’s 8 Miles and Mayne Avenue branches. Also affected were Nigerian Ports Authority, Harbour, Tinapa Business Resort, State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), and the Cross River Newspaper Corporation (Chronicle) premises along Barracks as well as the Calabar office of the West African Examinations Council (WAEC).
The hoodlums, Saturday, invaded the Oluyole Estate, Ibadan, residence of the senator representing Oyo Central, Senator Teslim Folarin, and carted away valuables. Folarin confirmed the incident while speaking in a telephone interview on a radio programme monitored in Ibadan.
The third-term lawmaker said about 350 motorcycles, 400 deep freezers, food items, among other things, meant for an empowerment programme for his constituents planned for December, were carted away by the hoodlums.
In a statement on Saturday after the incident, Folarin said over 1,100 empowerment items, such as motorcycles, deep freezers, generators, and grinding machines were looted from his house at the Oluyole Estate extension.
Folarin, who is the Senate Committee Chairman on Local Content, believed the attack was carried out by those he described as coordinated hoodlums. He described the invasion as evil, barbaric and unfortunate, saying, however, he is thankful that no fatality was recorded.
The lawmaker advised the state government to strengthen its security architecture to prevent a reoccurrence of such incident.
Folarin an APC member ruled out any political colouration, saying, “I am relieved, because no life was lost.” He added that the hoodlums attempted to set his house on fire but were repelled by soldiers, who raced to the scene.
Although efforts to get the reaction of the state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Mr. Olugbenga Fadeyi, proved abortive, a source disclosed that not less than seven persons have been arrested over the incident.
Sanwo-Olu Warns against Ethnic, Religious Incitements as Tinubu Makes Public Appearance
Worried by the content of a video by a United Kingdom-based Nigerian called Adeyinka Grandson, which has gone viral on the social media, inciting ethnic conflicts, the governor of Lagos State, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, asked the people to disregard the alarmists. He warned against careless utterances that could set the state on fire.
Sanwo-Olu, who described the people peddling the videos as anarchists, said their plan was to create hatred and division for which Lagos is not known.
He stated, “Inciting videos of this nature are not what our land needs now, following the loss of lives and destruction that fake news, misinformation and unfounded rumours have triggered in our dear state in the last couple of days.
“The government appeals to Lagosians to disregard the calls of ethnic and religious jingoists as well as agents of destruction, who are on a mission to destroy our state by pitting us against one another for yet to be ascertained reasons.
“This is a very critical moment for us as a people. It is, therefore, important that we stand together and remain circumspect, because the brewery of falsehood is unrelenting in its mission. Lagos State is the melting pot of various cultures, tribes and religions across Nigeria. We have co-existed harmoniously for ages and will continue to live together peacefully.”
He stressed, “The sad incident of the past few days affected everyone, who lives, trades or works in Lagos, regardless of their tribe, culture, race and religion. This is a time for us to empathise with one another and not listen to purveyors of evil messages, especially on social media.
“The government will continue to protect lives and property. Fake news and inciting message merchants are hereby warned to stop their evil enterprise or face the legal consequences of their destructive actions. Our dear state will go through this with the resilience for which we are known and come out stronger.”
South-west Governors Visit Sanwo-Olu Today
Governors of states in the South-west geopolitical zone will today at noon pay a solidarity visit to Sanwo-Olu to assess the level of destruction of government and private properties by hoodlums. A source close to the governors said they had wanted to visit on Friday but intelligence advised against it, since the situation in the state was still tense at the time. Intelligence suggested today, Sunday, would be fine, from all indications.
Although the governors, according to the source, had planned to make the visit a quiet one, given the mood of the nation, THISDAY learnt about the development, which the source eventually confirmed.
Lagos Evaluates Files of 229 Persons Arrested During Protests
Against the backdrop of the carnage witnessed in Lagos State between Tuesday and Friday, the state’s Ministry of Justice has reiterated its resolve to prosecute suspects, who took advantage of the EndSARS protest to destroy and loot public and private property in different parts of the state.
Some hoodlums had hijacked the peaceful protest of youths against brutality by operatives of the now disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) and other police personnel, tagged #EndSARS, to wreak havoc and disturb the peace of the state.
The State Director of Public Prosecution, Mrs. Olayinka Adeyemi, went round relevant police formations with a team of prosecutors to evaluate files of those arrested by the police with a view to determining those with prima facie cases against them.
Already, 229 suspects have been arrested by the police for various criminal offences, ranging from arson, murder, stealing, malicious damage of property, and assault before and after the state-wide curfew imposed by Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu to restore law and order.
According to Director, Public Affairs, Ministry of Justice, Kayode Oyekanmi, after the evaluation exercise, those that have cases to answer would be arraigned before the courts on Monday, while the release of those that have no cases would be ensured.
Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Moyosore Onigbanjo, SAN, while calling on Lagosians to maintain peace, law and order in their respective communities, pledged the commitment of the government to the rule of law at all times.
Gunshots Rock Abuja Market as Police Prevent Hoodlums from Looting Warehouse
Policemen and other security personnel fired several gunshots and tear gas to deter hoodlums, who had stormed a warehouse for COVID-19 palliatives early this morning. Some traders at the UTC market, Area 10, Garki, Abuja, and residents of the area had been living in tension recently.
According to reports, residents cowered in fear as security operatives battled hoodlums attempting to loot a warehouse in the vicinity, located in the precinct of the Cyprian Ekwensi building and the UTC market.
The Federal Capital Territory police spokesperson, ASP Mariam Yusuf, who confirmed the development, noted that the police were deployed at the UTC market and other public infrastructure to prevent hoodlums from looting them.
Hoodlums in Edo Invade COVID-19 Palliative Warehouse
Some hoodlums in Benin City, Edo State capital, on Saturday morning, stormed the state government’s warehouse on Medical Store Road, Uselu, and looted palliative items stored in the warehouse. The youths, who had earlier in the morning been prevented by military personnel from carrying out the act, succeeded in breaking the human shield mounted by the military and entered the store in their hundreds.
The invasion was similar to the attack on the two correctional centres and five police stations by hoodlums during the #EndSARS protests.
esidents of the area were woken up by gunshots as soldiers manning the place battled to ward off the crowd comprising mostly youths, male and female, who dared them before invading the warehouse from all corners.
The invading youths ignored gunshots by the army meant to scare them before gaining entry into the place.
It was gathered that the soldiers on guard eventually stopped shooting to avoid killing anyone, based on instruction, when they saw a large crowd of persons surging towards them.
APC Expresses Sadness over Violence, Tragedy in States
The All Progressives Congress (APC) on Saturday expressed sadness over the tragedy that enveloped some parts of the country in the last few days, as hoodlums took over a peaceful protest against men of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS). Chairman, Caretaker/Extraordinary National Convention Committee of the party and the Governor of Yobe State, Mai Mala Buni, in a statement, said the party was committed to the ideals of democracy. He contended that APC recognised the inalienable rights of the citizens to demand change in conditions, which trampled on their liberties, freedom of association, freedom of speech and wellbeing through peaceful means and rule of law.
The caretaker chairman acknowledged the peaceful commencement of the protests until it became violent, destructive and disorderly as hoodlums seized the opportunity to cause mayhem. He noted that APC would take every step to support the government to bring this unwholesome situation to an end.
“We will make sure that all those found culpable will face the wrath of the law. For it is the desire of all Nigerians that a peaceful atmosphere returns to the country for the good of the greatest number of our dear countrymen,” he said.
Afenifere, Ohanaeze Condole with Lekki Tollgate Victims, Condemn Arson
The pan-Yoruba socio-cultural group, Afenifere, and its Igbo counterpart, Ohanaeze, have condoled with the victims of Lekki tollgate shootings, and canvassed an end to the burning and desecration of private and public buildings by hoodlums. The two groups in a statement entitled: “Say No to Wilful Destruction”, jointly signed by their leaders, Chief Reuben Fasoranti (Afenifere) and Chief John Nwodo (Ohanaeze), said the blood of the youths killed will pursue their killers and those who ordered them to the gate of justice.
The leaders lamented that one of the fallouts of the incident was the looting and burning spree all over the city, saying they do not endorse arson as responsible organisations and therefore called for a stop to the destruction.
The statement said, “The leaders of Afenifere and Ohanaeze jointly commiserate with all the families, who lost dear ones in the Tuesday bloody massacre in Lekki, Lagos. We have also noted the divisive attempt to use the violence to put a wedge between Yoruba and Igbo and destroy the new understanding we have built in the last three years. We reject this devilish attempt and ask the police to investigate and arraign suspected perpetrators of the violence.
”The essence of law and order is for individual citizens to answer for their actions. It is where law enforcement is weak that you begin to cast ethnic slur, when crimes are committed instead of holding the perpetrators. We appeal to our peoples to continue to live together in peace and harmony and not allow divisive elements to put a wedge between them. Solidarity forever.”
Lagos NUJ Condemns Assaults on Photo Journalists
The Lagos State Council of Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) condemned the attack by some rampaging youths on three photojournalists while going about their legitimate duties in Lagos on Friday.
A statement by the state NUJ chairman, Dr. Qasim Akinreti, and the Secretary, Comrade Alfred Odifa, said it was a wicked and barbaric attack, which must be condemned by all well-meaning Nigerians.
The three journalists attacked by the hoodlums were a member of the NUJ Executive in Lagos State Council, Mr. Isaac Ayodele of The Nation Newspapers, Mr. Abiodun Willams, and Mr. Mike Otogu.
Apart from severe bodily injuries suffered by the three photojournalists, their expensive professional cameras were also terribly damaged by the hoodlums.
The union called for decisive action by government to stop all forms of attacks on newsmen and ensure necessary protection for them in the course of the discharge of their constitutional responsibilities to the society.
Hoodlums Raid Red Cross Office, Vandalise Equipment
Hoodlums, on Saturday broke into the branch office of the Nigerian Red Cross Society in Calabar and vandalised furniture and other office equipment. This followed the looting of several warehouses in Calabar where palliatives were found.
A crowd insisted that the gates of the Nigerian Red Cross in Calabar be thrown open as they suspected that COVID-19 palliatives were being hoarded.
In a statement, Secretary General, Nigerian Red Cross Society, Abubakar Kende, said the policemen and security guards on duty prevented a break in. However, the crowd returned and overpowered the policemen, gained access and vandalised all the furniture and took away non-food items found in building.
According to Kende, ”The Nigerian Red Cross Society wishes to state that while it is true that the Nigerian Red Cross does take delivery of relief materials, we systematically distribute these items to the most vulnerable in the society on a strictly needs basis.
“The action of the unknown persons is condemnable as the Nigerian Red Cross was set up in 1960 to alleviate human suffering wherever it may be found. Our staff and volunteers do this across Nigeria, in strict compliance to our fundamental principles of humanity, impartiality and independence, among others.
“In compliance with the safer access rules, we urged our staff, members and volunteers to stay away from the office until the situation is reviewed and necessary safeguards put in place. We remain committed to the service to humanity in accordance the NRCS Act and our fundamental principles.”
Okowa Warns Hoodlums Masquerading as #EndSARS Protesters
Miscreants and criminals hiding under the cover of #EndSARS protests to unleash violence and destruction in Delta State will have the law and security agencies to contend with, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa warned on Saturday in Asaba. Okowa issued the warning while inspecting buildings and other structures torched and vandalised in the state capital on Wednesday night and Thursday morning by hoodlums posing as youths protesting police brutality in Nigeria.
The governor restated his support for far-reaching reforms in the police and various aspects of governance in the country. He condemned the lawless act of the hoodlums, who had hijacked the peaceful protest to loot, maim, kill and create an atmosphere of fear and anxiety across the state.
According to Okowa, “Unfortunately, it appears some people are not quite happy with the beautification we have done here and they decided to vent their anger and criminality on the gardens; they destroyed everything, cut down trees just to deface the city.
“It is very unfortunate and you can see that a lot of damage has been done to the High Court that was set on fire. We also visited the FRSC Office and you saw the level of destruction there as well as the beautiful garden we put up at the Ibusa junction that was also destroyed.
“It appears that some people are not quite happy with the beatification and the level of development in Asaba, but it’s very unfortunate. I know that is not the intention of those who started the protest but the criminal elements among us have come in and tried to perpetrate this level of arson and violence.”
Meanwhile, journalists in parts of the state raised the alarm about police harassment and assault in the guise of enforcing the 48-hour restrictions on movement announced by the governor on Thursday following widespread violence and destruction by hoodlums. Warri-based reporter with the Vanguard Newspapers, Akpokona Omafuaire, was reportedly attacked by a team of policemen from Aladja Police Division, near Warri, whIle on official duty.
MRA Condemns Attacks on Media During #EndSARS Protests
Media Rights Agenda (MRA) condemned recent attacks on journalists and some media houses in certain parts of the country, particularly in Lagos, by state and non-state actors in the wake of the #EndSARS protests. MRA described the actions as reprehensible acts of intimidation and reprisals against media workers and organisations engaged in the lawful pursuit of their professional functions.
In a statement issued by its Programme Director, Mr. Ayode Longe, MRA said, “The failure of the government and its law enforcement agencies to protect media houses, journalists and other media workers in the face of these threats, wanton acts of harassment and intimidation, arson, physical violence and other violation of media rights is a shameful abdication by the government of its legal and constitutional responsibility to protect them as well as a breach of its obligations under international human rights Law.”
According to Longe, “The media serve a critically important function in society, particularly in times of crisis and emergencies, as it is imperative that citizens, other members of the public and communities are adequately informed about the prevailing situation, including any threat to their lives or wellbeing. Such acts of intimidation and violence against the media and journalists, as we have witnessed in recent days, undermine their ability to perform their functions and violate the public’s right of access to information.”
He cited recent incidents of attacks against the media, including the October 20 brutalisation of two journalists with the Punch newspaper, Mr. Femi Dawodu and Mr. Segun Odunayo, by over 20 policemen while they were covering the #EndSARS protests in the Alausa area of Lagos.
Longe recalled another instance on October 21, when the offices of Television Continental (TVC) in Lagos were attacked by hoodlums taking advantage of the #EndSARS protests. The mob invaded the offices, destroyed property and burnt vehicles parked in the premises as well as the building housing the television station.
In yet another instance, according to him, the offices of the Nation newspaper, also in Lagos, were attacked and burnt down by suspected hoodlums who were also taking advantage of the protests. They were able to carry out their nefarious activities unimpeded despite the imposition of a 24-hour curfew all over Lagos State two days earlier by Governor Babajide Sanwoolu.
CLASFON to Buhari: Urgently Address Demands by Nigerian Youth
The Christian Lawyers Fellowship of Nigeria (CLASFON) urged President Muhammadu Buhari to urgently address the demands by the Nigerian youth during the EndSARS protest. In a statement, the group said the federal government should put appropriate strategies and timelines for implementation of the demands.
The statement jointly signed by the President of CLASFON Mr. Arome Okwori, and National Secretary, Mr. Olatunji Omole, called on the federal government to ensure justice for EndSARS protesters killed by security personnel across the country during the protest.
The statement also asked the federal government to investigate the unfortunate incidents with a view to ensure justice for the victims. It appealed to the youth to be calm and conduct themselves peacefully, having ventilated their grievances on the current state of affairs in the country.
CLASFON stated, “We condemn in totality the gruesome attacks and killing of innocent citizens by armed men alleged to be men of the Nigerian Army and other security operatives in different parts of Nigeria and, in particular, the brutal and violent attacks on peaceful #ENDSARS protesters at the Lekki Toll Plaza, Lagos, on the 20th day of October 2020.
“We called on the federal government to swiftly investigate the above ugly incidents of unlawful brutalisation and killing of innocent citizens with a view to bringing the culprits to justice. We urge the teeming youths of our nation to keep calm, maintain law and order and conduct themselves peacefully as they ventilate their grievances on the current state of affairs in the nation.”
Breached Warehouse, a Strategic Reserve to Mitigate Eventualities, Says Edo Govt
Edo State Government said the government warehouse breached at Medical Stores Road, Benin City, storing palliatives materials and medical supplies, served as a strategic reserve to mitigate eventualities in the state. In a statement, Special Adviser to the Governor on Media and Communication Strategy, Mr. Crusoe Osagie, said upon receipt of relief materials, there had been an on-going process of distribution for the past seven months to the vulnerable and poor populations to mitigate the effect of the COVID-19 crisis in the state.
Explaining that the vandalised warehouse stored some strategic medical assets, he said the items looted included vaccines, high-end equipment and other supplies.
He noted that the government had distributed most of the palliative materials sent to the state.
Kwara Police Commissioner Reads Riot to Hoodlums
The Kwara State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Kayode Egbetokun, read the riot act to hoodlums in the state, saying they must keep off the streets or face confrontation with the security agencies. Egbetokun said the #EndSARS protesters were no longer on the streets but hoodlums looting public and private businesses had taken over.
He spoke with journalists in Ilorin against the backdrop of last Friday’s looting of public and private businesses in Ilorin, the state capital. Egbetokun advised parents and guardians to call their wards off the streets.
He stated, “I want to make it clear that criminal elements cannot and will not enjoy our protection. The protesters are no longer on the streets but the hoodlums are. Yesterday (Friday), they looted warehouses, malls and shops.
“They forcefully dispossessed individuals of their valuable belongings, threatening to do more. An attempt to burn down a popular mall after looting, was frustrated by security agents.
“I want to use this opportunity to appeal to parents and guardians to keep their wards off the streets and warn them not to follow the hoodlums, who are presently treading a dangerous path. It is our duty to protect lives and properties in the state.
“Those who choose to remain with the criminals on the streets clearly made a choice of confrontation with the law enforcement agents and are at risk of the consequences of such an action. I also appeal to all law abiding residents of the state to stay at home for the period of the curfew,” he said.
Niger Governor Institutes Judicial Panel
Niger State Governor, Alhaji Abubakar Bello, has instituted a judicial panel to receive complaints of police brutality, abuse of human rights and extra-judicial killings and other unwholesome acts against the now disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS). The panel is to also determine the nature of the acts of brutality, and level of violation of human rights committed by the dissolved SARS
Bello inaugurated the committee in Minna on Friday, according to a statement made available to newsmen by his chief press secretary, Mary Noel Berje. He said the inauguration of the committee was in line with the directive of the National Economic Council (NEC) that all state governors should establish such panels to hear complaints and ensure accountability in the operations of police units in their states.
The 14-man panel is headed by Justice Ishaku Usman, with Abdulrahim Tariq as the secretary.
Jos: Indigenes Break into COVID-19 Palliatives Warehouse
Some people in Jos, yesterday, broke into a warehouse, where undistributed COVID-19 palliatives were kept, at TAEN junction in Bukuru, Jos, carting away food items and other consumables. The warehouse was vandalised in the early hours of Saturday by unknown persons, giving access to the people.
One of the looters, simply identified as Mr. Danjuma, described the state government led by Governor Simon Lalong as wicked. He said the citizens were locked indoors for months, not allowed to do their businesses, and were kept in hunger and starvation, yet, government was hoarding the palliatives donated by well-meaning Nigerians to assist the poor.
Another resident, Mrs. Felicia, said she was surprised that government had this much in its warehouse, when they measured rice with cups for families.
Lalong, and his deputy, Professor Sonni Tyoden, who doubled as the chairman of palliatives committee in the state, had lamented that the palliatives were grossly inadequate and could not go round. They said the little they had could only go to the poorest of the poor.
At a time, women in the state, who had been kept waiting endlessly for the palliatives, had to stage a peaceful demonstration. That was when the Commissioner of Information, Mr Dan Manjang, told them that palliatives could not go round, but meant for “the poorest of the poor.”
But the Plateau State government denied hoarding palliatives meant for the people, saying the recent EndSARS protest prevented it from distributing the palliatives.
But as a direct consequence, Lalong re-imposed the 24-hour curfew, which he earlier relaxed on Friday following the return of normalcy in the state after the #EndSARS protest. In a statement, the governor said the latest development followed the looting of the palliatives by hoodlums.
FCT Denies Hoarding COVID-19 Palliatives
The Minister of State for the Federal Capital Territory, Dr. Ramatu Tijjani Aliyu, assured residents that there were no hoarded palliative items in various stores across the territory. The assurance was on the heels of the brazen attempt yesterday by some hoodlums to loot the COVID-19 palliatives, stocked at the Arts and Culture Centre, Area 10, Abuja.
The thugs were repelled by policemen assigned to the Arts and Culture Centre, who used firearms to disperse the crowd.
Aliyu assured that items for flood victims were safe and secure, saying security agents are being deployed to man strategic areas.
One Crushed as Youths Loot COVID-19 Palliatives in Awka
A trailer, yesterday, crushed at least one person while irate youths looted foodstuff said to be COVID-19 palliatives conveyed in a vehicle to a safe location in Awka, Anambra State. A private company that produced Anambra rice and the state internally generated revenue office were not also spared, as they were looted by rampaging youths.
THISDAY gathered that the crushed victim had climbed on top of a trailer to get foodstuff, but fell down from it while others struggled to take food, and was instantly crushed by the moving trailer. It was, however, not ascertained if he died, as he was quickly rushed to the hospital.
A combined team of soldiers and policemen had in the morning foiled an attempt by the youths to break into the warehouse of the State Emergency management Agency (SEMA), where the state government stored the palliatives.
A video circulated on social media early Saturday morning urged all youths to assemble at Agu Awka, at the SEMA warehouse. It alleged that foodstuff meant for them was stocked in the warehouse and government wanted to distribute them during elections.
However, about 3pm, the youths successfully ambushed and looted a trailer conveying COVID-19 palliatives stored in the warehouse, which was being taken to an unknown location in the state to avoid the prying eyes of the youths.
A government office, Revenue house, which coordinates the internally generated revenue of the state, was also not spared as the youth broke into it, looting computers, printers and other office equipment.
Kaduna Youths Raid COVID-19 Palliatives Warehouse
Hundreds of youths in Kaduna on Saturday broke into a warehouse, located at Gwari Avenue in Barnawa area of Kaduna metropolis, carting away foodstuff said to be COVID-19 palliatives. The foodstuff, which included noodles, rice, garri, and sugar were said to be part of donations to cushion the effect of COVID-19.
After identifying the warehouse, the youth broke it open, carting away rice, noodles, sugar spaghetti, and garri among others.
The police, who were promptly deployed to the area, had a difficult time stopping the looting as they threw teargas to disperse the youth.
“We are hungry, how can they be hiding food, when we are struggling to survive,” some of the youths were heard saying as they escaped with their loot.
Principal of Queens School Enugu Sends SOS to Security Agencies to Rescue THEIR Traumatized female Students
…Says no COVID-19 palliatives stocked in the school as they were distributed in August 2020
“We don’t want what happened to Chibok girls to happen to these students”
The principal of Queens School Enugu, Mrs. Ada Nweke, has cleared the air on the allegation that COVID-19 palliatives earlier stocked in the school were still there, stating categorically that “the materials are no more in the school” as the items had been distributed by the Enugu State Government Committee on Palliatives, on August 2020, to the less privileged and vulnerable groups across the 17 Local Government Areas of the state.
Speaking to newsmen when she led them to inspect the school, Mrs. Nweke who disclosed that the female students have been traumatized, since the threat by hoodlums to invade the school came up, called on the security agencies in the country to come to their rescue.
The principal said that the call became necessary because “we don’t want what happened to Chibok girls to happen to these students”.
She maintained that “there are no COVID-19 palliatives in Queen School Enugu” and urged the general public to disregard such unfounded rumour.