Complexity of the palliatives by Gabriel Ojugbo
The Federal Government in her wisdom in partnerships with some corporate organisations as well as spirited individuals distributed palliative items which include different kinds of food to all the 36 States in Nigeria, including the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.
The State Governments stored the food items in various warehouses across the nation without distributing them to the targeted poor population during the Covid19 luckdown.
However, as a result of the #EndSARS nation wide protests which began peacefully from the onset but later became destructive due to the incident in Lagos State on the 20/10/2020 at Lekki Tollgate where some protesters were shot by some security personnels. The situation left the country aggrieved and all the citizens where hoping to see the reaction of the Commander in Chief of the Federation- (The President) who later addressed the nation after much agitations by the citizens. The President address was not satisfactory to the citizens given the matter on ground. This raises tension as most people expressed their worries that they might experience the worst situation.
To worsen the whole situation, some youths regrouped themselves across the nation, and started destroying public and private properties which began from the palliatives warehouse in Lagos State, located in the Oba of Lagos resident.
In the City of Calabar, the event started on Friday evening, when the protesters who where acting as hoodlums invaded several locations of the warehouses in Calabar. The city was plung into confusion as some residents where running helter skelter to the locations to pick items. The worst of it was the incidents on Saturday where notable politicians houses and private business owners investment where destroyed and in some quarters set ablazed. This left many people to wonder and asked questions like what is the reason behind this action? To some, it was politically motivated, While others said it was as a result of the bad governance, though, no one is yet to confirm the reason behind their actions.
One unforgettable experience that Saturday was seeing some looters of the properties being looted by another looters on their way home. That’s, if you carry a bag of rice and some bad armed boys see you with it, they will threatened you with weapons and seize it from you. Hmmm! It was like a Nigerian movie.
When the State Government were asked the reason why they didn’t distributed the palliatives to the masses, their excuse was that it arrived late to the State, although, the Bornu State Governments distributed theirs in June 2020. We are yet to get the actual fact.
In a bid to cushion the tension in the State, the Cross River State Government declared a 24 hour curfew on Sunday which later extended to Monday 26/10/2020. In his press release, he ordered a house to house search to recover the looted properties and placed a hundred thousand Naira reward for those who have useful information to aid the Government recover the looted properties.
In Calabar- South, it’s like a Nigerian movie as the streets are littered with the looted items as no one is ready to go to prison. The security operatives have recovered some properties while some individuals including men and women as well as boys and girls have been arrested.
The moral lesson about the whole drama is, don’t follow the masses to do wrong because one day you will pay for the consequences. Two wrong heads can never make a right.
Department of Public Admin
University of Calabar