Okey Sampson, Umuahia
#EndSARS rioters at the weekend in Umuahia, Abia State, broke into a warehouse they believed to contain COVID-19 palliatives supposedly hoarded by the State Government.
It was gathered that angry youths got a tip off that the warehouse was loaded with bags of rice and other edible items.
The mob mobilised and broke into the warehouse and looted bags they believed were filled with rice, but which the State Commissioner for Information, Chief John Okiyi-Kalu, told some reporters were not palliatives but bags of fertilizers and rice seedlings meant for replant next year.
Okiyi-Kalu, who described the protesters as ‘palliative hunters’, explained that the State Government had distributed its stock of palliatives to churches, town unions, state agencies and Local Government Areas.
He added that the State Government recently bought palliatives which it also distributed to some victims of the #EndSARS protests in the State.
He said it was unfortunate that a private warehouse was attacked over the weekend in Umuahia with bags of fertilizer and rice seedlings carted away by the mob
‘We must stop the hoodlums from further inflicting misery on us by drawing a line between peaceful #EndSARS protests and criminality. Ordinarily, the Abia State Government sees peaceful protest as part of democratic governance and will under no circumstance stop peaceful protesters. At the same time, no responsible government will sit down and watch anarchists endanger the people’s life and livelihood,’ he warned.