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Day of rage as hoodlums raid warehouses in Abuja

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By Omeiza Ajayi

It was a day of rage on Sunday as hoodlums invaded several warehouses in the Federal Capital Territory FCT Abuja, carting away agricultural produce, textiles and other items.

Facilities affected were warehouses at the Idu Industrial Layout, a warehouse in Dakibiyu village in Jabi district, belonging to the National Emergency Management Agency NEMA and an Agric store in Gwagwa-Tasha which is owned by the Federal Capital Territory Administration FCTA. All the facilities are located in the Abuja Municipal Area Council AMAC.

At the Idu Industrial layout, it was a chaotic scene as irate youths invaded the area and broke into some warehouses in the layout.

Buoyed by the successes of the initial looters, many residents of the area were said to have trooped into the industrial layout to get what they erroneously considered as a piece of the “national cake”.

Although, most of the warehouses in the industrial layout are privately owned, it was gathered that one of the facilities was initially used to hold COVID-19 palliatives.

However, the warehouses that were looted on Sunday belong to companies owned by private individuals as the one owned by government was said to be largely empty of stocks.

While the police fired gunshots and teargas canisters to disperse the crowd, many of them stood their grounds and later bolted away with several items including mattresses, bags of rice, cereals and textiles materials.

Many of those who took part in the looting went with motor cycles, Rickshaw (tricycles) and a few with vehicles.

As of 4pm, many offices in the area had shut down and asked their staff to go home.

There were concerns that the crowd could go after several other private warehouses in the area which plays host to many factories, with warehouses for storage.

At the Dakibiyu village in Jabi district, hundreds of youths invaded the NEMA warehouse unhindered and carted away foodstuffs and other essentials.

Some youths also raise raided the Agric Store in Gwagwa-Tasha, carting away bags grains, sewing machines, mattresses, and other items.

The store, which is maintained by the Agriculture and Rural Development Secretariat (ARDS) of the FCT Administration is used for storage of produce for sale to farmers at subsidised rates during planting season.

An initial deployment of some security operatives to the scene did not help matters as the youths continued with their looting. However, a reinforcement of operatives comprising the army and the police were later able to control the situation.

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