Several persons feared dead after security operatives opened fire on a warehouse containing COVID-19 palliatives on Friday, 23rd October in Ilorin, the Kwara State.
Reports had it that residents discovered a warehouses in cargo terminal area and Agro mall in Kwara state containing Covid-19 palliatives such as spaghetti, noodles, salt and sugar and so on. So they went for it.
As part of efforts to restore order when one of the warehouses was being looted, security agents opened fire, leading to confusion.
The coronavirus disease (COVID-19), caused by a new strain of coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) that has not been previously identified in humans, was first reported to WHO on the 31st of December, 2019 in Wuhan, China. It became a major pandemic for Nigerians in March 2020.
Many organizations and individuals extended helping hands directly to the people or through the government to support the country.
Explaining why the items were yet to be distributed and condemning the mass looting of the warehouse, Kwara commissioner for communications, Harriet Afolabi-Oshatimehin, on Friday said,
“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.”
The warehouse is located around the Ilorin International Airport, opposite Oando filling station.
Following this incident, Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq, governor of Kwara, has declared a 24-hour curfew beginning at midnight on Friday.