The Plateau State Governor, Simon Lalong, has valued government property looted and destroyed by hoodlums across the state during the curfew introduced to mitigate violence that may erupts due to ongoing protests against police brutality and bad governance in other states at N75 billion nairas.
He explained that though the looting and destruction of public infrastructures were not connected to the protest against police brutality, the development was a setback to the state’s economy that was just picking up from the effect of coronavirus.
The Governor disclosed that no fewer than 32 public and private properties that were affected in the looting spree across the state, adding that the disturbances that followed the protest was unimaginable
Speaking during an interactive session with youths on Friday at the State House, Lalong said that despite the destruction, it was pertinent that the state begin thorough consultations with stakeholders towards journey to progress and development.
According to him, after relaxing the curfew on 23rd, some hoodlums broke into the warehouses that housed palliatives delivered to the state on 16th October 2020 by the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development which were awaiting distribution and carted them away.
“Despite restoring the curfew, the looters took their destruction to higher levels by attacking other public and private facilities and leaving a trail of arson, vandalism and total destruction behind them. Indeed, this is a sad development for our State.
“The level of destruction and carnage is unbelievable and unacceptable. We are still trying to carry out a comprehensive evaluation of the total cost of the damage. However, the preliminary report by a team of experts I constituted has estimated the losses to be put at about 75 billion nairas for now.
“This clearly takes us many years backward as we do not have the resources to replace the structures vandalised and the items damaged or stolen. We are yet to recover from the devastating economic consequences of COVID-19 which has greatly affected our capacity to provide services.
“Indeed, this act of destruction has nothing to do with the initial ENDSARS protests, but a clear act of criminality and unpatriotic behaviour. As at the last count, we have more than 32 public and private properties that were affected in the looting spree,” the statement said.