• Monday, April 22, 2024
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BusinessDay

Kebbi residents loot government, private warehouses amidst rising cost of living

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Residents of Kebbi State staged a brazen assault on a government warehouse situated in the Bayan Kara area of Birnin Kebbi, the state capital, under cover of darkness on Saturday evening, making off with a substantial cache of food supplies.

Undeterred by the presence of security personnel stationed at the facility, the perpetrators, identified as hoodlums, proceeded to forcibly enter several private warehouses and shops in the vicinity, pilfering additional food items.

Among their loot was a haul of assorted grains, originally intended for distribution within Birnin Kebbi, which they seized from a disabled truck.

This incident mirrors similar raids on warehouses in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, and Suleja, Niger State, as the nation contends with a burgeoning cost of living crisis, largely attributed to the recent removal of petrol subsidies and the subsequent fluctuation of the national currency.

According to Muhammadu Gwadangwaji, Chairman of the food vendors association at Bayan Kara Market, Birnin Kebbi, interviewed by our correspondent, some establishments fell victim to arson, ignited by unruly youths amidst the chaos.

Despite attempts by security forces to disperse the mob with gunfire and teargas, their efforts proved futile, with the assailants brazenly ransacking both government and private premises.

In response, the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Nasir Idris, Ahmed Idris, lamented the incident, labeling it as “unfortunate” and highlighting the unprecedented nature of such criminality in Kebbi State.

Idris revealed that prior to targeting the government warehouse, the perpetrators had intercepted a shipment of food supplies intended for distribution by Dangote, further underscoring the audacity of their actions.

He emphasized the significant investment made by the state government in procuring and distributing over N5 billion worth of assorted grains to alleviate food scarcity, condemning the looters for depriving the people of their rightful share.

Assuring proactive measures, Idris affirmed that the government has since fortified its warehouses to prevent any recurrence of such brazen acts of theft and vandalism.