Nigeria

‘Many killed’ as security operatives attack residents looting COVID-19 palliative store in Kwara


Several persons were feared dead on Friday when security operatives opened fire on a warehouse containing COVID-19 palliatives in Ilorin, the Kwara capital, on Friday.

Warehouses in cargo terminal area and Agro mall in Kwara state were looted, with items such as spaghetti, noodles, salt and sugar carted away.

As part of efforts to restore order when one of the warehouses was being looted, security agents opened fire, leading to confusion.

Harriet Afolabi-Oshatimehin, Kwara commissioner for communications, in a statement on Friday, condemned the looting of the warehouses, and explained why the items were yet to be distributed.

“The remaining palliatives in the terminal, which the hoodlums preyed on until chased away by security agencies, were meant for special vulnerable groups and just one local government where names of the beneficiaries have just been delivered and officials have started distributing when the street urchins breached the wall of the facility,” she said.

“It would be recalled that the CACOVID and the state government had since September 23rd 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.

“The actions of the hoodlums are condemnable and those already arrested would face the full weight of the law. The government would not tolerate anyone hiding under any guise to disrupt the peaceful atmosphere in the state.

“The government commends the security agencies for acting with restraint in the face of provocation by the hoodlums.”

Following the incident, Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq, governor of Kwara, has declared a 24-hour curfew beginning at midnight on Friday.

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