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In Nigeria, citizens raid warehouse full of undistributed aid

A video posted October 24 on Twitter provides a closer look at the people tossing sacks of food to those below.

Emmanuel (name changed on request of anonymity), a Plateau State native and entrepreneur, heard about the raid on social media. 

I saw posts on Twitter calling for residents of Jos to locate and raid Covid-19 relief materials warehouses. I am from a lower-middle-class family, so food isn’t a problem for us yet, but I decided to join those raiding the warehouse as a show of solidarity to the general disgruntlement and rage of the masses at the way the country has been poorly run.

As soon as I got there, I noticed that some parts of the roofing sheets had already been torn open. Sacks of food supplies (maize, guinea corn) had already been removed from the rooftop, thrown down at random to an agitated crowd, and carted away. There was no fighting, only periodical arguments on the ownership of the sacks that were thrown down from the rooftop. Meanwhile, some people were already trying to help themselves by creating more openings in the warehouse to gain access to the relief supplies. The crowd was on a rapid increase. It wouldn’t be totally out of place to say that the crowd had tripled from when I first arrived.

Similar looting has occurred in cities across Nigeria.

A video posted on Twitter October 22 shows looting in a warehouse in Lagos.

A video posted on Twitter October 23 shows people carrying sacks away from a warehouse in Ekiti State.

Undistributed stockpiles

The sacks of food in the Jos warehouse were labelled as relief from the federal government of Nigeria. Videos taken inside the warehouse show piles of these sacks stored on several levels.

In a photo provided by one of our Observers, we can see a sack labeled “Federal Republic of Nigeria Food Relief.”

A video posted on Twitter on October 24 shows the interior of the warehouse with sacks of grains stacked almost to the ceiling.

Nigeria’s president directed the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to distribute 70,000 tonnes of grain from this reserve starting in April. But, with overflowing warehouses across the country, citizens are asking why some provisions were not allocated.

Plateau State denied any claim that they were hoarding Covid-19 aid. In a Twitter thread, they insisted these supplies had been delivered by the federal government October 16. They were meant to be immediately distributed, until #EndSARS protests interfered.

Read more on the Observers >> Nigerian protests against police brutality upended by deadly violence

Several other states said they were waiting for higher directives before distributing their aid. The federal government has denied the fact that any local governments were told to wait for further direction before distribution.

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