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Minister: FCT warehouse looting was beyond hunger, it’s criminal

Mariya Mahmoud, minister of state for the federal capital territory (FCT), says the looting of the food warehouse at Gwagwa-Tasha, Dei-Dei area of Abuja, was a criminal act.

Mahmoud spoke on Monday after an assessment visit to the warehouse which was looted by residents on Sunday.

The minister said the amount of things that were carted away was beyond hunger and transcended to criminality.

“We are here due to the unfortunate incident that happened early hours of yesterday, where hoodlums attacked this very warehouse and packed everything that is here,” Mahmoud said.

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“Not only food items, including the roofing, windows, and even the gates of this place were carted away.

“You can see the level of damage. There is nothing that is left here, including machineries that are used for the processing of some of the food in the warehouse.”

She stated that the looting occurred when the FCT administration was restocking its warehouses in line with President Bola Tinubu’s directive to make food available to the residents.

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She also said Tinubu had directed that palliatives be distributed to residents in all the six area councils of the FCT.

She added that the FCT administration was already in its third round of palliative distribution when the incident happened.

“We distributed the palliative twice and about to do the third one, when the hoodlums attacked the trucks offloading food items in the warehouse, leaving some of the officials injured,” she said.

“This is a sign that we need to reinforce the security situation around all our warehouses, because you just have to keep food.

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“But the way this thing happened actually is beyond hunger. This is a criminal act. Somebody that is hungry cannot move out to remove all the roofing that is here.”

The minister added that the incident may delay the further distribution of palliative in the territory.

The FCT police command said it has arrested 15 suspects over the incident.

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