Recently, some states and the FCT witnessed a twist of event from the ENDSARS protest as thousands of youths stormed some government warehouses and looted ‘hoarded’ palliatives, an action that affected some private businesses. Here is what some Nigerians said about the incident.
Grace Gara Saba, 29, Development worker, Minna
I condemn the act. It is really wrong. I understand that there are grievances from Nigerians to the government because of their understanding that the items were contributed and donated by Good Samaritans and was supposed to be distributed before now.
Looting it is wrong because people went ahead to loot other private properties as well.
Government should also know that support should have been given to those who deserving it. Nigeria government owe Nigerians apology for hoarding the food items till this moment and those who are involved in the looting too didn’t do well.
Yusuf Ladan, 48, Civil servant, Minna
The palliative looting has exposed some hidden things going on in the government. The federal government claimed to have spent a lot to share the materials to alleviate the suffering of the masses but state governments decided to do.
If they had shared it, it wouldn’t have lead to the looting. There is something for the states and federal government to learn from in case of any event like this.
They should come up with a model that works and let the grassroots people feel the impact of what they are doing.
Mogaji Wale Oladoja, 62, Businessman, Ibadan
Before we pass blame on anyone, let’s identify the root of the problem. Problem number one is hunger while the second problem is unemployment.
When government refuse to provide food at cheaper prices, which is one of necessities of life, people become wild. They do anything to ensure they eat.
Secondly, the problem of unemployment, an idle mind is the devil workshop. They don’t have work and they need to eat. What do you expect? Sadly, the foods given to governors to distribute were kept in warehouse and you expect hungry youths to ignore food.
Vivian Oyinoza, 41, Entrepreneur, Lagos
There is no other name given to someone who takes what is not given to him or her than a thief and the act in itself is stealing. In as much as the government hoarded the palliatives from the masses and should have shared it when it was needed most, looting it does not make it right either.
You cannot use wrong to correct a wrong. It is unfortunate that parents who should turn their wards back with what isn’t theirs partook in the looting.
Robert Owoicho, 25, student, Makurdi
What is wrong is wrong. I don’t support the looting of palliatives from warehouses. Looters are thieves and should be dealt with accordingly. In the same vein, the state governments who have hoarded the palliatives deserved what they got, though; most of them have made excuses why the palliatives were found in their warehouses.
Notwithstanding, they have learnt lessons which I expect they will apply positively to enhance democratic governance because democracy is all about people who should enjoy its dividend at all times. I believe that Nigeria will become better following recent happenings.
Haruna Yusuf Abba, 25, Activist and Accountability, Jos
The looting was wrong. And for those who claimed it was because of hunger, anybody who took anything other than food stuffs from any Government warehouse is a thief and a part of our problem.
If anyone should sell anything that he or she took, then they too are not any better than our oppressors. I side with the masses, however, because all we are seeing today is as a result of the untold hardship, poverty and hunger overtime.
I know that some poor masses benefited from COVID-19 palliatives, because it was shared. It was however based on who you know or according to political affliction and all that.
The looting was also as a result of awareness of injustice to the commoners, upon which the poor masses have been denied so many constitutional rights like education, health, etc.
Remikat Ayuba, 29, Development Worker (NGO), Jos
Looting is not right, especially when you vandalize private properties and steal from them amidst social crisis. I don’t support looting , but the government should please look at factors that triggered such behaviour and see how it can be resolved.
Our leaders must live by good examples and improve on our educational system. For instance ASUU been on strike and lots of youths are at home idle.
Some made themselves available for the looting. Government should create more job opportunities that would be fairly distributed to youths. Infrastructures should be put in place to boost business opportunities.
When we have those things put in place in the system and anyone still tries to loot, it means that person is a criminal and must be prosecuted, because such person has no excuse.
Prince Johnson, Owerri resident
The people took what rightly belongs to them. Government gave food to the people and it was hoarded. I am annoyed when they are called looters. They are just Nigerians who are hungry.
They looting is justified rather those hoarding those palliative are the looters. You don’t term hungry people as looters. Let me warn that by sending police to arrest people, they may be inciting another round of protests, which consequences can be better imagined.
Musa Ahmadu, 43 years, Newspaper Vendor, Bauchi,
Looting of palliatives from warehouses is a bad omen that set a bad pace for the present generation of youths and leaders especially State Governor’s because both the looters and the governor’s who hoarded the food items are to be blamed.
While God exposes governor’s bad plans against their people, the looters are equally guilty for their shameful actions. Government must take urgent practical steps to forestall future occurrences to save the socio-economic stability of the country.
Malam Dauda Biri, 55 years, Trader, Bauchi
Looting of palliatives from warehouses is totally wrong and uncalled for but some state governors are responsible for the looting because of their action of hoarding the items despite the hunger and poverty in the land couple with the COVID-19 lockdown.
The people are equally wrong to loot public and private warehouses and their action is like taking the laws into their hands. Religious leaders and opinion leaders should sit-up to enlighten their subjects on the dangers of looting of either public or private properties.
Tina Nyiynogo, 26, Office Assistance, Makurdi
I don’t support the looting of palliatives from warehouses across the country because it is not good. Genuine protesters had thronged the streets for many days demanding their rights until the demonstration was hijacked by hoodlums who cashed in on the opportunity to perpetrate looting of both public private properties.
Ordinarily, protests should be restricted to issues and not looting, that is very wrong, especially as some people lost their lives in the stampede.
The Federal Government is already aware of the demands made by the genuine protesters so why would some fellows now break into warehouses to cart away food items? It is worrisome that some met their untimely death looting goods.
Alex Abari, 46, Mechanic, Makurdi
I don’t support the looting in whatever disguise but the governors of states were looting took place are to be blamed for hoarding commodities meant for their citizens.
Imagine the hardship people went through during the COVID-19 lockdown yet food was kept in the store, for who? They acted so wrongly. Why did keep palliatives in the stores instead of distributing them? Governments ought to the right thing always.