By Idowu Abdullahi,
The Lagos State Government has refuted media reports that one of its storage where relief packages meant to cushion the economic effects and sudden life changes occasioned by restriction placed on movement by the Federal Government on the indigents was looted by residents of Abule-Egba area of the state.
It explained that the viral nature of the video clip and response it had generated from Nigerians, especially Lagosians following effect of the lockdown had necessitated the clarification, adding that such incident would have been addressed by relevant stakeholders if there was any loot at any of its coronavirus Emergency Food Response items storage in the state.
The government described the reports as false, misleading and an attempt to rubbish the efforts of the state government in curtailing the spread of the virus and measures like the palliative food packages for the indigents amid the fight against the pestilence.
The government in a statement through its Ministry of Agriculture, while debunking the allegation revealed that it does not have any storage facility located in Abule-Egba, and urged members of the public to disregard both the video and allegation completely
Recall that a video clip had emerged online showing some people said to be residents of Abule Egba allegedly looting the storage facility where the government is keeping the relief packages in the area.
In the video clip, the residents can be seen in a free for all manner, jumping over from the fence of the storage facility with packages of food items in their hands.
The thirty seconds video clip showed residents numbering over fifty scramblings to gain entrance into the facility and some rushing out of it to quickly hide their loots before relevant authorities arrived in the area.
It would be recalled that the state government had earlier announced that it will distribute food packs to over 200,000 Lagosian families, a move, it said was to alleviate some of the sufferings being faced as a result of the forced isolation and lockdown directives in the state.
It explained that the Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu-led administration understood the hardships which would be faced by people due to them having to stay indoors in obedience to directives on preventing the spread of the deadly coronavirus pandemic and that the food packs were in order to stand as a form of economic stimulus packages for the people.
Sanwo-Olu stated that it was expected that the packages would reduce the burden on indigent members of society and the most vulnerable people in Lagos, adding that the initiative, which was still at pillot phase, was expected to continue till it reached every region of the state.
The packages which contained bags of rice, beans, and other edible commodities, the Governor said, would be distributed using information from Lagos State Social register as well as 4,000 community development association registers in the state’s 377 wards.
However, there had been alleged cases of sabotage in the distribution of the packages as some residents reportedly claimed that only selected few were receiving the food items as against the government promise.