Nigeria Police Struggle To Contain Looting Of COVID-19 Food Items

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Nigerian security forces are struggling to curb increasing cases of looting of state warehouses across the country. This is the latest rioting incident in the wake of mass protests, led by youth protests against police brutality.

The storage facilities contain tons of embossed materials, including food, which were yo be distributed during lockdowns previously mandated to stop the spread of the new coronavirus.

Although distribution programs have been suspended in several states in the country over the past few months, it was revealed this week that some of these facilities, as well as in private homes of politicians, still hold relief supplies.

The news angered many in a country with the largest number of people living in extreme poverty in the world.

Tens of thousands of peaceful protesters took to the streets in Nigeria this month to call for an end to police violence and other widespread reforms.

Amid the heightened tensions this week, criminals destroyed public buildings and damaged property, while others took advantage of the riots to ransack warehouses with food and other supplies.

On Saturday, police sporadically fired into the air in the capital Abuja and used tear gas to disperse residents who approached a warehouse.

There was another scenario in the southern city of Calabar, where security forces were  unable to stop the robbery of a local politician’s home, where the attackers suspect that some COVID-19 supplies were being stored.

In Ilorin, central Kwara state, security forces have had difficulty foiling attacks on government facilities in recent days. The governor announced a 24-hour curfew to prevent further escalation of violence.

Authorities in northeastern Adamawa state also imposed a 24-hour curfew on Sunday after muggers ransacked a large food warehouse.

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