By Ozioruva Aliu
BENIN CITY – YOUTHS in Benin City, Edo State capital yesterday stormed the government warehouses on Medical Store Road in Uselu and Textile Mill Road where they looted the palliative items allegedly meant for Covid-19 pandemic.
The youths also tried to access a private residence of a senior government official but were prevented while a private warehouse close to government house was also approached by the youths but they were repelled by security operatives. The youths claimed the warehouse was being funded by the government.
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The youths broke the human shield mounted by the military and entered the medical store by Medical Store Road and Textile Mill simultaneously in their hundreds.
No incident of shooting was recorded as the youths helped themselves to the food items in the warehouse.
Reports however, indicate that a man allegedly died in an attempt to escape from the warehouse with his loot while a lady reportedly sustained injuries in the process.
Hundreds of persons including the young and the elderly were sighted taking away several bags and cartons of food items with some of them marked Covid-19, Not for Sale.
Meanwhile, the state government said the warehouse breached in Medical Stores Road, Benin City, storing palliatives materials and medical supplies, served as a strategic reserve to mitigate eventualities in the state.
A statement by the Special Adviser to the Governor on Media and Communication Strategy, Mr. Crusoe Osagie, said upon receipt of relief materials, there has been an ongoing process of distribution for the past seven months to the vulnerable and poor population to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 crisis in the state.
Explaining that the vandalised warehouse stored some strategic medical assets, he said the items looted include vaccines, high-end equipment and other supplies.
According to him, “It is unfortunate that critical medical supplies, including vaccines meant for children, were vandalised, which is most condemnable.
“The other warehouses for food supplies in Edo State are empty as the relief materials that were earlier housed in them have all been distributed.
Meanwhile an EndSARS activist told Sunday Vanguard that the invasion of the warehouses was due to “direct poor governance over the years, they were not born but created to be it.
“Miscreants are children of poor men that politicians embezzle the money meant for their education, health care and better living standard. Politicians made them.
“The poor you create or neglect will not allow you sleep at night. It is heartbreaking that governors will stockpile palliatives. We keep telling them they can’t stand the tyranny of the majority.”