Nigerian security forces have reportedly killed about six people when residents were trying to loot a warehouse loaded with relief materials for the coronavirus pandemic in Ilorin, Kwara State.
It was gathered that the warehouse, located inside the Ilorin International Airport, was looted on Friday after thousands of residents learnt it was holding Covid-19 palliatives kept by the state government.
During the looting, witnesses said six people were killed by soldiers and police officers who opened live rounds at the warehouse after being called in by state authorities.
The palliatives were meant for the people worse hit by the pandemic, but some government officials have kept them in secret facilities in an apparent scheme to resell for personal financial gains.
When contacted, the police public relations officer in the state, ASP Ajayi Okasanmi, did not respond to all calls put across to him.
Meanwhile, the Kwara State government has condemned the attack on the warehouse, stating that such attitude “does not reflect the good nature of the people of the State”.
In a statement by the Commissioner for Communications, Harriet Afolabi-Oshatimehin, the government said the larger part of the palliatives were already distributed and that the looted leftovers were meant for only 1 local government and the most vulnerable amongst amongst the citizens.
“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.”
KanyiDaily had earlier published series of videos and pictures showing people looting packs of noodles, rice, sugar, garri, and other food items kept as COVID-19 palliative in the warehouse in Illorin.