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Abuja warehouse looting criminal, not due to hunger – FCT minister

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Residents looting food and household items

Minister of State for the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Mariya Mahmoud, has described the Sunday looting of a warehouse in Gwagwa-Tasha by some residents as a criminal act that was beyond hunger.

The minister stated this after her assessment visit to Gwagwa-Tasha to ascertain the level of damage to the warehouse.

Mahmoud, while speaking to journalists at the scene, described the situation whereby hoodlums carted away all the grains and other foodstuffs, including the roofs and fences, as unfortunate.

The Minister, who expressed disappointment over the attitude of the youths within the area, however, assured that the administration would establish a police post in all government warehouses across the territory going forward.

“We are here due to the unfortunate incident that happened in the 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 left here, including machines that are 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.

The minister revealed that the unfortunate incident occurred when the administration was restocking its warehouse with a view to meeting up with the directive of President Bola Tinubu to distribute palliatives to all six area councils in FCT.

She further vowed that the administration would prosecute those behind the ugly incident.

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

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

“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 actually goes beyond hunger. This is a criminal act. Somebody who is hungry cannot move out to remove all the roofs that are here. All the doors, all the windows, and also the gates.

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

The minister, however, stressed that the incident may slow down the distribution of palliatives in the territory, saying “we have to reconstruct, not even renovate, this warehouse, all the offices, and then the gates that are damaged”.

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