Warehouse invasion: Bayelsa residents cart away flood palliatives ‘unfit for consumption’

RESIDENTS of Bayelsa on Sunday night broke into a warehouse in Yenagoa, the state capital, to cart away food and materials meant for flood victims.

 The warehouse, used to store flood palliatives since 2022, was reportedly raided by residents who made off with some food items that had deteriorated over time.

The theft resulted from mounting frustration stemming from the economic challenges exacerbated by the removal of subsidy on Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), commonly known as petrol, by the Federal Government. This removal resulted in a significant surge in petrol prices from approximately N190 to a staggering N620 per litre. 

Similarly, In Adamawa state, The ICIR reported about the looting of warehouses by the residents. It showed hoodlums chanting “Enough of Hunger” stormed warehouses in the state. 

The cascading effect has increased the cost of goods, services, and transportation fares.

Bayelsa State Emergency Management Agency (BYSEMA) officials revealed that the looted food items were no longer suitable for human consumption. 

These items had been stockpiled during the 2022 flood crisis in the state. 

It remains to be seen if the warehouse in Yenagoa contained food items that were part of the N5 billion palliative and grant programme announced by the Federal Government, led by the administration of President Bola Tinubu.

Responding to the incident during an inspection of the warehouse on Monday, August 28, the Director-General of BYSEMA, Walamam Sam Igrubia, stated that the Agency had been preparing for the upcoming flood season. 

During his inspection, remnants of food items, including rice and garri, which had deteriorated beyond consumption, were cleared from the warehouse and placed outside for disposal the following day.

He said: “The Bayelsa State Emergency Management Agency (BYSEMA) notes with surprise and concern the unwarranted invasion of the premises of a privately-owned warehouse in the Kpansia area of Yenagoa, the state capital.”

“Importantly, these items are unfit for human consumption, and a responsible, caring government like ours will not give Bayelsans such items as palliatives”.



    “In essence, there were no food items to loot. So, those who carted away the unfit things are advised in their interest not to consume them”.

    Furthermore, the Agency refuted any claims of hoarding or political manipulation. It urged those who had taken the unfit things not to consume them for their well-being.

    Igrubia criticised opposition elements in the state for attempting to politicize the incident and exploit it for political gain. 

    The Agency assured the state’s residents of its readiness to facilitate the distribution of legitimate palliatives provided by the Federal Government to mitigate the impact of the fuel subsidy removal policy. 

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