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Hardship: Nigerian Minister condemns looting of food warehouse

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The Minister of State for the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Mariya Mahmoud, has denounced the Sunday’s looting of a government warehouse in Gwagwa-Tasha, a satellite town in the territory.

Mrs Mahmoud, who spoke to journalists after visiting the scene of the incident on Monday, described it as not merely an expression of hunger but as a criminal act.

Some hoodlums had on Sunday morning broke into the warehouse and took away food items and other things in the facility.

“We are here due to the unfortunate incident that happened early hours of yesterday, where hoodlums attacked this very warehouse and packed everything that is here, including the fence.

“Not only the food items that are here, including the roofing, windows, and even the gates of this place and offices were all attacked. You can see the level of damage. There is nothing that is left here, including machinery that is used for the processing of these things.

“As you have heard, people around, the youth of the environment or the community are suspected to have instigated this incident. So, this is a very sad event. And we are not happy about it,” she said.

She expressed disappointment in the youth in the area.

Mrs Mahmoud explained that the government was replenishing the warehouse to distribute palliatives to the six Area Councils in the FCT when the attack occurred.

She said the hoodlums stole all the grains, food items, roofing, windows, fences, and machinery used for processing the food.

The minister assured that the FCT administration would establish police posts in all government warehouses across the territory to reinforce security.

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She also vowed that the administration would prosecute those behind the incident.

She emphasised that the incident was a sign that security around all government warehouses needed to be reinforced.

“We did distribution about twice. And then about to do the third one, where these trucks were here to offload these food items, and then they were attacked, even injured some people on duty.

“This is a bad situation. And it is not something that the administration will take lightly. All those that are involved must be brought to book. We have to do something.

“And also, this is a sign that we need to reinforce the security situation around all our warehouses because you just have to keep food. But the way this thing happened is beyond hunger. This is a criminal act. Somebody hungry cannot move out to remove all the roofings that are here. All the doors, all the windows, and also the gates.

“This is not showing that we are good ambassadors of the nation. So definitely we are going to take action about this event that has happened,” she stated.

Mrs Mahmoud said the incident might delay the distribution of palliatives in the territory because the warehouse, offices, and gates would require reconstruction before distribution can resume.

“We have to reconstruct, not even renovate this warehouse, all the offices, and then the gates that are damaged,” she added.


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