NEMA: #EndSARS protest stalled distribution of relief materials to flood victims
‘Absence Of Security Personnel Encouraged Looting In Abuja’
Director General of the National Emergency and Management Agency (NEMA), Air Vice Marshal Muhammadu Muhammed (retd), has stated that attack by hoodlums during the #EndSARS protest stalled the distribution of relief items to victims of 2020 flood disaster.
According to him, the period the distribution of the relief items in the affected states coincided with the #EndSARS protest. He noted that while delivery and distribution of the items were concluded in some states, others were delayed because most of the warehouses were attacked and looted during the protest.
He explained that now that normalcy has been restored, the agency has resumed delivery of the items in all the states that were yet to benefit.
Muhammed, who spoke yesterday during a maiden meeting with the staff of the agency, said the agency was in a comatose state when he assumed office.
Meanwhile, the Chairman of Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC), Abdullahi Adamu Candido, yesterday, said the absence of security personnel at flash points in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) during the violence that took place in the wake of #EndSARS protest may have been responsible for the level of damage recorded in the council area.
Candido, who stated this during his presentation to the FCT Ministerial Committee on Assessment of Damage and Loss during the crises, noted that hoodlums had a field day because the police did not properly engage them.
The council boss, who is also a member of the committee, noted that the government did its best to avoid bloodshed during the crisis by ordering the police and other security personnel to stand down.
Recounting some of the attacks meted out on businesses in the area council, Candido said: “Locations within the area council like the Gwagwa Agro Fertilizer Warehouse, Idu Industrial layout and so many other areas were attacked. Apo specifically suffered serious damage in the hands of these hoodlums and nobody can give you a reason for perpetuating this damage.
“They just assumed palliative were warehoused and they were going to get them. Unfortunately it went out of hand and private businesses were affected and properties carted away. How do you explain the attack on say a private business premises where furniture were carted away and the hoodlums will say it is our properties? At the end, we all discovered it wasn’t just palliative they were looking for. It was an opportunity that created itself and therefore they did what they did and hoodlums really had their day.
“The government tried to avoid spilling the blood of the young ones. But I don’t think that can be tolerated any longer because no government will stand back and watch hoodlums destroy properties of innocent citizens in the name of venting their anger. I think directing the police not to do anything led to the mayhem we experienced. Happily the minister in his magnanimity put up this committee so Nigerians can see for themselves and differentiate between reasonable Nigerians and the hoodlums.”\
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