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Saturday, April 17, 2021

Looting Sweeps Across Nigeria as Authorities Struggle to Contain the Unrest

Nigerian authorities struggle to contain cases of looting across the country as thousands defied the curfew last October 24 to October 25 to raid government warehouses containing undistributed COVID-19 relief goods.

Nigerian authorities struggle to contain cases of looting across the country as thousands defied the curfew last October 24 to October 25 to raid government warehouses containing undistributed COVID-19 relief goods.

The warehouses, as well as homes of politicians, have been found to contain relief goods that were meant to be distributed during the previous lockdowns imposed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Human rights organization Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project stated, “Unless promptly investigated, the allegations of hoarding and diversion would undermine public trust in any efforts to bring the spread of the pandemic under control, exacerbate the negative impact of the crisis, and deny those most in need access to basic necessities of life.”

Videos on social media showed people looting a warehouse containing sacks of rice, cereals, and pasta in the city of Jos.

State Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq of Kwara imposed a 24-hour curfew to curb further escalation of violence after police were faced with difficulty in containing the raids on businesses and a government facility.

State Governor Ahmadu Fintiri of Adamawa also imposed a 24-hour curfew after the looting of a food warehouse last October 25.

Police in the city of Calabar also had difficulty stopping the raids on the homes of local politicians where relief goods were suspected to be held.

Meanwhile, police in the capital of Abuja used tear gas to disperse those who came to the warehouse.

Protests across Nigeria started last October 8 to demand an end to brutality by the police, specifically by the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) police unit that have been accused of torture, extortion, and extrajudicial killings.

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