CRIMINALS have ransacked a government warehouse in Yenagoa and carted away bags of garri being stored by the Bayelsa State Emergency Management Agency (Sema) that was to be distributed to members of the public as part of the Covid-19 relief effort.
Like most other countries in the world, Nigeria has introduced a lockdown, which has paralysed commercial activities, making food scarce. To ameliorate the effects of this, the Bayelsa State government had stored garri at its warehouse at Igbogene in Yenagoa, the state capital, which was to be distributed to members of the public.
Last Thursday, the Bayelsa State government commenced the distribution of the bags of garri to Yenagoa, Southern Ijaw and Kolokuma/Opokuma local government areas, in the first phase of the exercise under the supervision of the Sema chairman, Zedekiah Izu. Over the weekend, however, hoodlums broke into the warehouse and carted away over 150 bags of garri, which they then took away through a bush path.
Mr Izu said the governor directed that the bags of garri be distributed to the poor to reduce the hardship being suffered by the people as a result of the lockdown imposed on the state to curb the spread of coronavirus. However, this process has now been setback as the stolen bags of garri were to be allocated to the Sagbama and Ekeremor local government areas.
One eyewitness said: “The boys came threatening to deal with anybody who tried to stop them from having their Covid-19 palliatives.” The incident was said to have caused pandemonium in the area but subsequently, the warehouse was closed to prevent the looting of the remaining bags of garri.