By Gabriel Enogholase – Benin
No fewer than one person was feared dead following the attack and looting of Edo pharmaceutical company warehouse in Benin City by suspected hoodlums.
The hoodlums were said to cart away which goods such as cartoons of pastry, LPG gas cylinders, bags of rice, gallons of vegetables oil, vehicle batteries among other valuablesworth millions of Naira despite the state government’s curfew aimed at checking activities of miscreants as a result of the EndSARS protest.
Other household goods including Covid-19 palliatives branded with the inscription ‘CACOVID were also carted away.
Vanguard gathered that one the victims died of exhaustion while struggling in the midst of the hoodlums to gain entry into the warehouse and was trampled upon in the process.
It was further Learnt that the Warehouse situated on Medical Stores road was stormed by angry youths in the locality as earlier as 6. 00 a. m.
However, Special Adviser to Governor Godwin Obaseki on Media and Communication Strategy, Mr Crusoe Osagie while reacting said.
”Government has said that the government 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.
“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.
“The vandalised warehouse stored some strategic medical assets, looted such as vaccines, high-end equipment and other supplies.
“The government has distributed most of the palliative materials sent to the state and what was stored at the warehouse, which has now been breached in Medical Stores Road, was strategic to mitigate eventualities.
“It is unfortunate that critical medical supplies, including vaccines meant for children, were vandalised, which is most condemnable”.
Some of the irate youths in the area who spoke to journalists, accused the state government of hoarding food items and other Covid-19 palliatives meant for the people adding that most of the items looted were already in bad shape having either expired or bad for consumption particularly the bags of rice.
Security agencies on ground watched helplessly without any form of confrontation as the hoodlums in their numbers broke into the warehouse .
The looting of the state government Warehouse popularly known as “Medical Stores”, is coming days after hoodlums attacked and looted the Nigeria Custom Benin warehouse and burnt other facilities including the NDLEA and Nigeria Correctional facilities in the state, with thousands of inmates now at large.
Effort to get the State Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Chidi Nwabuzor to comment was unsuccessful.