A rare scene played out in Abuja, as the nation’s capital joined the growing list of cities that have recorded unprecedented looting in the past few days, following the #EndSARS campaign for police reform.
A warehouse belonging to Gwagwalada Area Council was attacked by a mob, who carted away items ranging from motorcycles, sewing machines, and rice in the presence of security operatives.
It also contained food items that were meant to be distributed as COVID-19 palliative to residents.
Security operatives including soldiers guarding the facility simply looked away while the looting went on.
Go Inside Peacefully To Steal And Come Out Peacefully – Nigerian Soldier Encourages Looters
While people continued to troop in and out of the Gwagwalada warehouse, a fight broke out between two adult men, with each laying claim to three cartons of Indomie noodles and a small bag of rice at the entrance of the venue.
A soldier, who was among the onlooking security operatives, weighed in.
“You are a thief,” he pointed to one of the duo dragging the package before he hit him with a thick stick he was holding.
The officer, whose name tag was missing from his chest, said he saw one of the warring men piling the items near their van. He said that man was the rightful looter of the items and so dismissed the other.
The argument went on for roughly 10 minutes before the accused ‘thief’ left the scene and headed for the crowded entrance to the warehouse. The rightful looter went away with the loot.
The looting at Gwagwalada area council later spread to another warehouse in Tungan-Maje, which is less than 20 minutes away.
The looting of the Gwagwalada warehouse commenced in the early hours of Monday.
Turn Back Family Members Who Bring Home Looted Properties, Food Items’ – Buhari Tells Nigerians
SCOOPER had meanwhile, reported how President Muhammadu Buhari has asked Nigerians to turn back their family members who bring home properties or food items they cannot account for.
After a two-week long #EndSARS protest geared at demading an end to police ruthlessness and killings, violence broke out in several parts of the country leading to looting of public and private properties.
Garba Shehu, presidential spokesman in a statement said “President Buhari said while his administration is working hard through many pragmatic ways to reduce the hardship of the millions of our unemployed, poor citizens and those whose lives have been thrown into disarray by the harsh economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, he warned that resort to widespread attacks and the organised looting and plundering of public and private property in many states are inimical to public good and stand condemned.”
“A government that has launched a massive crackdown on corruption, brought in strong laws for a decisive battle against corruption, pursues loot recovery at home and abroad, and taken strong decisions against those who thought they were above the law, will not fold its arms when an otherwise legitimate and peaceful protest is turning into free-for-all vandalism and looting.
“While the administration has, for its part, blocked so many means of looting public money in a war against corruption, it is the expectation that all civil authorities, community and religious leaders in the country must rise against the organised looting and plunder we are witnessing in parts of the country.
“Families must turn back children who bring home unaccounted goods, in the same way wives must ask their husbands to return looted items brought home.”
The president said the incidents of vandalism and looting do not reflect well on the country’s image and should not be supported by reasonable members of the society.
“What is more, is that criminal actions as we have so far witnessed can weaken and erode the confidence of our people and that of foreign businesses in investing in the economy,” he was quoted as saying.
“Looting and vandalism will hurt trade and investment growth in our country, both large and small industries, as well as our hardworking people in the informal sectors of the economy.”
Violence escalated across the country after soldiers opened fire on peaceful #EndSARS protesters at the Lekki toll gate in Lagos on October 20.
Buhari has come under criticism for not mentioning the Lekki shooting in his speech to address the protest, but the presidency insists that “he had all along avoided going into a debate about the Lekki toll-gate incidents until all the facts are established.”
The president, however, appealed to the people all over the country to maintain peace.
He also commended state governments that have set up judicial panels to look into human rights abuses by police officers.
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