In doubt about every disappointment being a blessing? then I’d would show you Nigeria in its current palliatives looting.
Oh who would have thought? that Covid-19 palliatives donated to help the masses was hidden in deserted warehouses cut across the nation. The #EndSARS protests regardless of its negative effect, also brought in a positive effect, with a sudden dramatic revelations about the extremity and outrageous dimension of governance and leadership corruption in our beloved country Nigeria.
I for one decried the whole situation when it started off as #EndSARS protests from streets and public places occupation to the looting spree of public and private properties by hoodlums but then even in condemnation of the action of the looters and arsonists, our government should be held accountable as to why the food meant for distribution was stored and locked away, while many die of hunger.
To state that significant quantities of food and relief materials sent to state governments by local and international donors agencies, corporate organisations and individuals in order to cushion the harsh socio-economic and humanitarian effects of COVID-19 amidst extreme hunger and starvation are still stockpiled in warehouses across the states of the federation is shocking is an understatement.
This is unthinkable. What reason can any state government possibly give to justify warehousing relief materials till now when several persons and families cannot feed as a result of skyrocketing prices of food items in the country?
In an uncertain moment such as this when the country is languishing in moral, economic, political and social crises; at such a time when Nigeria is walking nervously on the edge of citizen revolution, it is not surprising that the masses led by the youths are invading such warehouses to help themselves.
Is the handwriting not clearly written on the wall for all to see? What the political leaders woefully failed to do as a result of greed and profligacy, angry youths have resorted to self help by invading public warehouses where COVID-19 palliatives are kept and hidden from public scrutiny, looting with little or no intervention at all from the security agencies.
So far, states that have been affected include Lagos, Ekiti, Kwara, Osun, Edo, Ondo, Plateau, Adamawa, Kaduna, Cross River, Rivers, Abia, Anambra, Delta, Akwa Ibom, Taraba, etc.
Indeed, the turning point was the heart-wrenching shooting and killing of unarmed peaceful protesters at the Lekki Toll Gate, Lagos, on October 20, 2020, by men in military uniforms.
What has been happening since then remains mind blowing. Public assets, corporate establishments, private and royal residences were looted and burnt. to ashes by hundreds and thousands of young people.
There are emotional instances where online and social media videos reveled how youths looted food items from warehouses and distributed same to street beggars. It is disconcerting that we have a generation of failed leaders in Nigeria who are so shameless, visionless and heartless.
It is the highest level of corruption and wickedness for any leader to hide food freely donated by donors to feed hungry citizens in time of harshest famine. It is the same way public funds are looted by public officers at the expense of the people. There must be accountability in this matter.
The position of the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) that specifically asked the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) to “promptly, thoroughly, transparently and effectively investigate the circumstances surrounding the alleged hoarding of COVID-19 palliatives in warehouses in several states, which ought to have been distributed to the poorest and most vulnerable people during the lockdown, and to publish the outcome of any such investigation” is faultless and we cannot agree more.