Fred Itua, Abuja
Three women have been reportedly trampled to death in Gwagwalada Area Council of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja during the looting of a massive palliative warehouse.
Several others collapsed while many sustained different degrees of injuries.
An eyewitnesses said hoodlums climbed fences from a nearby compound close to WAEC office while others fought their ways through the back of commercial bank premises to access the facility.
Parts of the roofs of the warehouse were removed by hoodlums to facilitate the looting.
Personnel of the Nigerian Civil Defence and Security Corps, police and Brigade of Guards of the Nigeria Army, who arrived the venue early had blocked the roads with their vehicles, but were overpowered as they watched as people made away with the COVID -19 palliatives.
Trouble reportedly began at about 8.43am when youths gathered within the areas leading to the warehouse shouting and expressing anger over the sufferings in the land. They were joined by motorcyclists who came with stories of looting and raid incidents from other parts of the country.
“By 9 am, the security personnel could no longer control the crowd who were mostly youths and women as they broke the doors and part of the wall, forced their way into the warehouse and began looting items inside the building,” a source said.
It was learnt that the youths from the surburbs of Angwa Dodo, Wazobia Parks, Tipper garrage, Passo and surroundings of Gwagwalada markets joined the mob to help themselves to the palliatives.
Items looted included bags of rice, cartoons of indomie noodles, spagetti, macaroni, bags of fertilisers, Indorama products, brand new motor bikes, grinding machines, bags of salt, bags of Sugar and cartoons of soaps.
By 11.23am, reinforcements of security operatives forced their way into the warehouse, which had COVID-19 written on it and shut it down.
Meanwhile, Minister of the FCT, Muhammad Bello, has ordered the deployment of soldiers and other security agents to different parts of the territory to prevent further looting of warehouses in the nation’s capital.
He also ordered the arrest and prosecution of looters of the FCT warehouse.
Bello gave the orders during an emergency security meeting with leaders of security agencies, yesterday, in Abuja.
The minister, who asked those who looted food items to return them immediately, disclosed that there would be massive deployments of security agencies to safeguard factories and warehouses at Idu Industrial Area.
He said what was going on was no longer #EndSARS protest, but stealing by hoodlums.
FCT Minister of State, Ramatu Aliyu, also condemned the looting.
Shesaid no nation could survive without a food reserve which are being looted across the country. She called on council chairmen and royal fathers to reach out to opinion molders and unite the people against looters.