Yola/Lagos. – Looters have been targeting state warehouses across Nigeria stocked with Covid-19 relief supplies which they say should already have gone to the poor and hungry.
Authorities denied accusations of food hoarding or plans to sell the supplies. The National Governors Forum (NGF), which brings together the heads of Nigeria’s 36 states, said some of the looted items were a “strategic reserve ahead of a projected second wave of Covid-19.”
But stores of so-called “palliatives”, some rotting, months after Covid-19 lockdowns ended, provoked outrage in a nation reeling from spiralling food prices, high unemployment and anti-police brutality protests that turned violent in October, eroding trust in government.
James (29) in Yola, the capital of Adamawa state in northeastern Nigeria, said he was tired of unfulfilled government promises to help.
“I was really shocked when I got to the warehouse and I saw the quantity of stuff,” he said. “Most of the stuff were out of date and I was like . . . why are we not getting it?”
He took seven cartons of noodles, two bags of sugar and a bag of rice.
Videos showing dozens of similar raids, from northern Kaduna state to western Kwara and Lagos in the south, have filled social media since late October. — Reuters.