Did state govts really “hoard” COVID-19 palliative in Lagos, Osun, Cross River, Kwara?

John Ogunsemore
5 Min Read
COVID-19 palliative looted in Osun

Hoodlums on Thursday invaded the warehouse where COVID-19 palliative was stored at Monkey Village, Mazamaza community in Lagos State.

On Friday, hoodlums attacked Cocoa House, Ede, in Osun State, where COVID-19 palliative was stored.

The same day, hoodlums looted another warehouse where COVID-19 palliative was stored at Bishop Moinagh Street, State Housing Authority in Calabar, Cross River State.

In Ilorin, Kwara State, hoodlums attacked yet another warehouse for COVID-19 palliative. Unlike in other places, security agents shot some of the hoodlums.

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Videos of some of the separate incidents showed people carting away packs of noodles, rice, sugar, garri, and other food items.

Reacting to the Mazamaza, Lagos incident, a resident of the community, Sherif Olaiya, said, “We heard sounds of gunshots. The hoodlums have attacked a place where COVID-19 palliatives were stored. They are asking residents to come and be picking the palliatives.”

In the Cross River incident, residents making away with food items could be heard saying, “the food is ours but they are keeping it for themselves”.

Was COVID-19 palliative really “hoarded”?

Checks by The Herald showed that the looted COVID-19 palliative were provided by Coalition Against COVID-19 (CACOVID), a private sector-led organisation established to assist the government in combating the coronavirus disease in the country.

In Lagos for example, the Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu disclosed on September 22 that his administration would soon begin distribution of 107,546 food palliative packs worth N1.4 billion donated to Lagosians by CACOVID.

COVID-19 palliative distribution in Lagos
COVID-19 palliative distribution in Lagos

Acting Commissioner for Agriculture In the state, Abisola Olusanya, said, “The Government notes that the warehouse in question is not state-owned and its usage was made available to the CaCOVID group. The State Government had been allowed to commence rebagging of food items allotted to it from the quantities meant for South West States.

“The rebagging was being done to account for each beneficiary receipt, as was required and monitored by the CACOVID team.”

He added that the distribution of the palliative was ongoing until the EndSARS protests caused it to be halted.

“For effective distribution of the food palliatives, groups such as Transport Unions, Ethnic Groups, Religious Associations, Artisans and Tradesmen Association, Marketmen and Women Association, People Living with Disabilities, Orphanages and Old Peoples’ Homes among others were being used as distribution channels to their members.

“The State Government however regrets the invasion of the warehouse and appreciate the support offered by the CACOVID group to the citizenry of Lagos,” Olusanya added.

The Kwara State Governor, Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq explained after the looting of the warehouse in the cargo terminal area of the state that the distribution of the COVID-19 palliative was in phases.

Speaking through the Commissioner for Communications, Harriet Afolabi-Oshatimehin, the governor said, “The remaining palliatives in the terminal, which the hoodlums preyed on until chased away by security agencies, were meant for special vulnerable groups and just one local government where names of the beneficiaries have just been delivered and officials have started distributing when the street urchins breached the wall of the facility.

“It would be recalled that the CACOVID and the state government had since September 23rd flagged off the distribution of the palliatives. But it was meant for specific households, as dictated by CACOVID, and so names had to be properly generated to allow for transparent and orderly distribution.

“The actions of the hoodlums are condemnable and those already arrested would face the full weight of the law. The government would not tolerate anyone hiding under any guise to disrupt the peaceful atmosphere in the state.”


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I'm a University of Lagos-trained journalist. I've read almost every novel written by Chinua Achebe, Jeffrey Archer and Dan Brown. I'm an expert Scrabble and draughts player who is also excellent at swimming.
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