Priscilla Ediare, Ado-Ekiti
The Ekiti State Government has condemned the burning down and looting of the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) warehouse in Ado-Ekiti by suspected hoodlums.
It also commiserated with shop owners at Odu’a Textile Market also in the State capital whose goods were looted by the hoodlums who hijacked the EndSARS protests to wreak havoc.
The Deputy Governor, Otunba Bisi Egbeyemi, who visited the two places for on-the-spot assessment on Monday described the arson and looting wreaked by the hoodlums as criminal acts.
According to a statement by the Special Assistant (Media) to the Deputy Governor, Odunayo Ogunmola, the SEMA General Manager, Mr Jide Borode, told the State’s number two citizen that relief materials meant for flood and fire victims were carted away after which the building was set ablaze.
Items looted at the SEMA building during by the attack on Friday included bags of rice, beans and other grains, cartons of noodles, refrigerators, blankets, roofing sheets, buckets, television sets, chairs, tables, office equipment, disinfectants, among others.
Egbeyemi said: “It is a pity that the hoodlums could commit these criminal acts. God will save us in this country.”
At Odu’a Textile Market, the Sales and Facility Manager, Mr Olu Ogunrinde, disclosed that about ten buses and a car containing goods of the traders were vandalised and looted during the attack by hoodlums.
Ogunrinde explained that the hoodlums made efforts to break into the warehouses in the market but were unsuccessful which made them attack the vehicles loaded with goods for delivery to the traders and looted them.
Speaking after conducting the Deputy Governor round the SEMA premises, Borode disclosed the attack began at about 6.52 pm on Friday when the hoodlums forced their way in through the backdoor.
While explaining that his agency was not in charge of COVID-19 palliatives, Borode bemoaned the magnitude of looting, vandalism and arson visited on the office.
Borode said the building was set ablaze twice within few hours noting that the hoodlums returned again to commit another arson after the first fire incident was put out.
He said: “We don’t have COVID-19 palliatives in our warehouse here, we had reliefs materials for disaster victims like grains and other materials meant for distribution to victims.
“They set this place ablaze twice, we called in the men of the Fire Service who quenched the fire but the hoodlums later return to set the facility ablaze for the second time and the fire was still burning till the next morning.”
Addressing shop owners at Odu’a Textile Market, Egbeyemi urged them to forward what he called “the genuine list of victims” to the State Government for consideration and for assistance.
Describing the incident as disheartening, the Deputy Governor on behalf of the State Government emphasized with the affected traders and promised them of government assistance.
Egbeyemi said: “On behalf of the government of Ekiti State, we commiserate with you. We want you to come up with a genuine list of those people that were affected.”
The Deputy Governor urged the people to always embrace peace and desist from actions that could breed disaffections in society.