By Gbenga Omokhunu, Abuja
Over N1billion worth of vehicles, motorcycles among other valuables were carted away by hoodlums in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) during the #EndSARS protests, it was learnt on Tuesday.
FCT Directorate of Road Traffic Services DRTS (also known as Vehicle Inspection Officers VIOs) bemoaned the invasion of its Auto Pond in the Gosa area of Abuja, putting the value of its losses at over ₦1billion.
Director, FCT DRTS, Wadata Bodinga disclosed this when the ‘FCT Ministerial Committee on Assessment of Losses caused by #EndSARS Unrest’ visited the Pond.
Giving a breakdown of the losses, Bodinga said no fewer than 174 vehicles, 3, 432 motorcycles and 43 Rickshaws (tricycles) were carted away by hoodlums.
According to him, the hoodlums operated unchallenged for about three days and in the end also vandalised offices in the premises, stole the electricity transformer and looted about 40 solar panels.
“We had over 3,432 motorcycles and not one of them was spared, not even a bolt was left because everything was completely looted. We had about 174 vehicles and even the offices were vandalised, including the roof which were removed. About 40 poles of solar have equally been removed; the observation post was vandalised. Anything metal, whether alloy or non-alloy were removed. The fence was pulled down and the rods removed. About 43 Keke NAPEP were stolen. The transformer supplying the place electricity was also taken away. I think the hoodlums stayed here for like three days or so, continuously looting the place.
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“We have evaluated the items. Like the motorcycles, we placed a value or N26, 000 on each and even at that value, you have money running into over N800 million and the value of the vehicles is about N76 million. So, in all, what has been looted here is over N1 billion”.
The Nation observed that a nearby private estate under construction was also looted, with the roof of the houses removed.
At the Idu Industrial Layout, Chairman of the Abuja, Nasarawa and Niger Branch of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria MAN, Mr Odun Emasealu who commended the FCT minister, Malam Muhammad Musa Bello for his prompt intervention to halt the looting, said billions of Naira in investments have been lost.
“We have gone round and the industrial equipment looted are very expensive. They raided the buildings and vandalised equipment. About 15 to 20 factories were affected. They took away windows, doors and other things including toilet seats and bathtubs, all running into billions. They have rendered these factories totally incapacitated and in fact, the owners need to reinvest to get some of them back up again. We just hope that these people will not be demoralised, that they will have the faith to come up again”, said Emasealu.
In Kuje, the Council’s Central Store which contained medical supplies and other non-medical assets was also looted.
The Council’s ICT Centre and Library was raided with 20 desktop computers, eight standing fans and eight Air Conditioning systems and 13 inverter battries stolen. The hoodlums also invaded the offices of the FCT Fire Service and the Federal Road Safety Corps FRSC within the library premises where they carted away office equipment and stationeries.
An attempt to invade the Kuje Area Council Secretariat was however stoutly resisted by soldiers but that was after the hoodlums had pulled down the rear perimeter fence of the Secretariat.
The Women Centre in Jiwa was looted bare and the place now turned into a “public toilet” as the assessment team was welcome into the premises by a pungent stench of human faeces.
The team also visited the palaces of the Gomo of Kuje and the Sarkin Jiwa to commiserate with them on the losses.
Responding, the Sarkin Jiwa, Dr Idris Musa said most of the hoodlums who invaded the territory came from the far North and even Niger Republic.
He urged the committee to monitor scrap collectors in the territory, saying some of them also participated in the looting.
Chairman of the committee and Director General of the FCT Emergency Management Agency FEMA, Alhaji Abbas Idris said his team would so a meticulous job and present its findings to the relevant authority.
“Honestly, the level of devastation is much. If you look at what we saw in Jiwa, Gwagwa, Kuje and Gosa area, you will know that billions of Naira have been lost in this circumstances. When you come to Idu Industrial Layout, many factories were invaded and it is just beyond anyone’s imagination,” he stated.