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Troops deployed in states as NEMA warehouse looted in Adamawa

Following the looting of a warehouse belonging to the National Emergency Management Agency in Yola Adamawa State yesterday, operatives..

Following the looting of a warehouse belonging to the National Emergency Management Agency in Yola Adamawa State yesterday, operatives have been deployed in all the NEMA’s warehouses nationwide.

Sources at NEMA told Daily Trust last night that the agency’s Disaster Risks Units (DRUs), comprising personnel of the various security agencies, had been activated to provide adequate security for warehouses across the states.

Zonal Coordinator, NEMA Office, Kaduna, Abbani Imam Garki, corroborated this, saying that security agencies had been contacted to secure the agency’s warehouses in the state.

He said all the law enforcement agencies collaborating with NEMA had been put on the alert.

“We have contacted the Divisional Police Officers (DPOs) where our warehouses are located to be on the alert. We also informed all SSS officers and are closely monitoring the situation.”

The Executive Secretary of the Ondo SEMA, Femi Obideyi, equally said measures had been put in place to secure warehouses in the state to forestall any attack at such facilities.

Earlier yesterday, a combined team of security forces were said to have gunned down at least four of the hoodlums that looted foodstuffs and other items from the NEMA’s warehouse, and private and public stores in Yola, Adamawa State.

The hoodlums, who were heard shouting “enough of hunger”, carted away gallons of vegetable and palm oil, bags of rice, spaghetti, pump machines and other valuable items.

The police intervened and fired teargas to disperse the hoodlums, but this did not deter the looters from fleeing with the items.

Troops deployed in states as NEMA warehouse looted in Adamawa

 

Adamawa State Commissioner of Police, Tola Afolabi, said about 80 of the hoodlums had been arrested, adding that investigation was ongoing.

Afolabi attributed the incident to a rumor that the government was hoarding relief items.

He said the government had earlier increased security around the Central Stores at PZ Roundabout, Jimera and other locations after receiving information about a possible looting.

“However, these measures proved ineffective as the looting incident still occurred. On Sunday morning, unidentified individuals broke into the warehouses of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and Kwanan Waya in Yola, making away with both food and non-food items,” he stated.

A government and security delegation also visited the central stores to conduct an inspection tour.

The spokesman of the state police command, Sulaiman Nguroje, who also confirmed arrests, did not disclose the casualty figure, saying the police were still working to ascertain it.

However, witnesses and security sources said four persons were shot dead as soldiers and anti-riot policemen dispersed the looters, some of whom were said to have carried machetes and other dangerous weapons.

“So far, a total of 48 suspects have been arrested. As for the number of lives lost, the commissioner of police has asked the anti-homicide unit to go round and ascertain the level of destruction and loss of lives. We are still awaiting the report”, Nguroje said.

The incident forced Governor Ahmadu Fintiri to impose a 24-hour curfew on the state, leaving businesses closed and streets deserted.

Fintiri, in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Humwashi Wonosikou, said the curfew followed the dangerous dimension the activities of hoodlums had assumed across the state capital as they attacked people with machetes and broke into business premises, carting away property.

“With the curfew imposed, there will be no movement throughout the state,” Fintiri said.

He said only those on essential duties with valid identification would be permitted to move around during the period of the curfew.

The governor appealed to citizens and residents of the state to comply with the directive, warning that any person found contravening the order would be arrested and made to face the wrath of the law.

States yet to receive grains 10 days after Tinubu’s directive:

Meanwhile, ten days after President Bola Ahmed Tinubu directed that 252,000 metric tonnes of grains and fertilizer be released to 50 million households in the country, many states have not received the items.

This is despite the claim by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) that it had released maize and rice from its strategic reserve.

The spokesman of the apex bank, Abdulmumin Isa, had told Daily Trust that the distribution of the items would commence on Monday last week.

Penultimate Thursday, the National Economic Council (NEC) had urged the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) to immediately distribute grains to states within one or two weeks to reduce prices of food items which had risen owing to the removal of petrol subsidy.

The spokesman of NEMA, Manzo Ezekiel, had last week said “massive logistics’ were required, though he assured that the distribution would be done within the timeframe.

When contacted yesterday for comment on the delay in the distribution of the items, the NEMA’s spokesman simply said: “I don’t have any comment on it.”

However, state officials of NEMA and those of the various state emergency agencies confirmed to Daily Trust yesterday that the items had not been distributed to the states.

A media officer of the Benue State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA),

Charity Agber, revealed that the state was yet to take delivery of the grains.

“No please, we (SEMA) haven’t received any yet,” she told our correspondent in a telephone chat.

The Head of the Minna Operations Office of NEMA, Hajiya Zainab Saidu, said no palliative items had been dispatched to Niger State. In a chat with Daily Trust, she said, “What we have for distribution now are relief materials for the flood victims, not palliative. And these relief materials were approved by the immediate past administration of President Muhammadu Buhari. It is for those affected by the 2022 flood disasters. So, it is not palliative. For palliative, we don’t know when we are going to receive it because they have not even released to anybody yet.”

Mrs Saidu, who is also in charge of Kwara State NEMA office, said no grains had been distributed to the state either. She said: “NEMA will receive it through the grain reserves and hand it over to the state governments for distribution at a subsidized rate, not free. The state will then collaborate with the local governments for those interested.”

The situation was not different in Kaduna State as a NEMA official said the federal government’s palliative had not been distributed to the state. The official said the focus of the office at the moment “is on assisting the 2022 flood victims”.

When asked if the state had received grains and fertilizer, Zonal Coordinator, NEMA Office, Kaduna, Abbani Imam Garki, said he could not give a specific date the items would reach the state, but assured that if there was any communication from the headquarters, he would inform the stakeholders accordingly.

Executive Secretary, SEMA, Yobe State, Dr Muhammad Goje, told our correspondent that the agency was yet to receive grains from the federal government.

He said the state government had distributed food items and grains to 500 persons living with disabilities in Damaturu Local Government Area.

An official of SEMA in Gombe said no palliative items had been received from the federal government or the state office of NEMA.

Our correspondent, who visited the federal government’s silos located on the outskirts of Gombe metropolis along Dukku road, reports that no activities were going on there.

In Edo State, Head, NEMA, Dahiru Yusuf, said the grains had not been delivered to the state.

Executive Secretary, Ondo SEMA, Femi Obideyi, also said “we are yet to receive the grains.”

He said logistics might be the cause of the delay, “but I know starting from this week, the trucks would be coming into the state.”

NEMA and SEMA officials in Taraba State declined comment when asked whether the state had received grains from the federal government.

NEMA Coordinator, South-South, Tepikor Godwin, said the zone was yet to receive the federal government’s palliatives.

Similarly, the South West Coordinator of NEMA, Mr. Akiode Saheed, said no grains had arrived Oyo state, adding, however, that adequate preparations were in place to receive and distribute them to the most vulnerable in the society.

Territorial Manager, NEMA, South West, Ibrahim Farinloye, said the agency was ready to commence distribution of palliative to the states in the zone.

“We’re starting with agricultural communities in Lagos such as Epe, Ikorodu, Ibeju and Badagry. All NEMA officials are ready. The state governments also have a lot to do. The seedlings and fertilizers are stored in state government warehouses. It is from the warehouses that we’ll commence distribution.

“We work in conjunction with border states and local governments. We have sensitised our staff on how to go about it. From Monday (today), we’re good to go” Farinloye told our correspondent on the telephone.

From Hope Abah Emmanuel (Makurdi), Haruna Gimba Yaya (Gombe), Tosin Tope (Akure), Adenike Kaffi (Ibadan),  Amina Abdullahi,  Kabiru R. Anwar (Yola), Mohammed Ibrahim Yaba (Kaduna), Victor Edozie (Port Harcourt),  Usman Bello (Benin), Mumini Abdulkareem (Ilorin),  Eugene Agha (Lagos), Habibu Idris Gimba (Damaturu) & Abubakar Akote (Minna)

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