PLATEAU State government has denied asking looters to return stolen palliatives as claimed by the Nigerian Police Force (NPF) pointing out that the looted food items belong to the people and there was no need asking them to return them.
Last Tuesday, Nigerian Army troops opened fire on unarmed protesters at the Lekki Toll Gate, killing several of them. This cold blooded murder sparked a national outrage across the country and people have since taken to the streets, setting fire to public buildings and looting warehouses, shops and the homes of the wealthy.
In Jos, the Plateau State capital, hungry mobs raided a government warehouse and carted away thousands of bags of foodstuffs. Items stored in the warehouse were meant to be distributed as part of the Covid-19 palliative scheme but had been hoarded until angry mobs found out where they were and helped themselves to them.
Yesterday, an NPF spokesman said that the people of Jos has 48 hours to return the food items or they would face the full wrath of the law. However, Dan Manjang, the Plateau State information commissioner, said this is not the government’s position as the palliatives belong to the people and there was no need asking them to return them.
Mr Manjang said: “We condemn the act of criminality by the people for forcing their way into the warehouse to loot the palliatives. We had the plan to share it to them in an orderly manner like we did when we did with the palliatives bought by the state government.
“We also condemn the hoodlums for attacking and looting government and private properties. That was criminal.”
Yesterday, Donboy Peters, spokesman for the Plateau State Police Command, had described the looters as criminals, warning them to return the palliatives before Wednesday. However, Mr Manjang has described the position of the police as alien to the state government, adding that although they had security meetings where they condemned the act of criminality, no one asked anybody to return any loot.