Three women were feared to have been trampled to death during the looting of a massive palliative warehouse in Gwagwalada in the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Abuja.
According to a report by The Nation, some who were suffocating were helped out of the building and being assisted with sachets of water.
Some of the hoodlums climbed fences from adjacent compounds near WAEC office while others fought their ways through the back of Fidelity Bank premises.
Parts of the roofs of the warehouse were broken by hoodlums to provide access into the hall.
Personnel of the Nigeria Civil Defence and Security Corps, the Nigeria Police and the Brigade of Guards of the Nigeria Army, who arrived the venue early, blocking the roads with their vehicles, were overpowered and watched as people made away with the COVID -19 palliatives.
Troubles began at about 8.43am as youths gathered within the areas, leading to the warehouse, which was built within five months by the Gwagwalada Area Council.
As they gathered in hundreds, shouting and expressing anger over the sufferings in the land, they were joined by motorcyclists who came with stories of looting and raid incidents from other parts of the country.
By 9 am, security personnel could no longer control the crowd mostly youth and women who forced their ways into the warehouse, broke the doors and part of the wall and began looting all items inside the building.
It was gathered youths from the suburbs of Angwa Dodo, Wazobia Parks, Tipper garrage, Passo and surrounding areas of Gwagwalada markets joined the massive crowd to help themselves to the looting of the palliatives.
They were heard saying: “This is our money, these people are wicked to have hidden these products and refused to share them.”
The Nation gathered items looted were bags of rice, cartoons of indomie noodles, spagetti, macaroni, bags of fertilisers, Indorama products, brand new motor bikes, grinding machines, bags of salt, bags of Sugar, and cartoons of soaps.
By 11.23am, some reinforcements of security operatives forced their ways into the massive warehouse, which had COVID 19 written on it and shut it down.
They however did not use tear gas or fire any shots, which could lead to stampede and more deaths.
As at the time of filing this report, people were seen moving around the warehouse and the main road, which leads to the Secretariat of the Gwagwalada Local government council.
Some were seen looking disappointed and dejected as they failed to make it to the warehouse before security operatives shut it down.
Meanwhile, the FCT Minister, Muhammad Bello has ordered the arrest and prosecution of the people who break the FCT warehouse in Gwagwalada Area Council and looted the food items in the store.
Mr Bello gave the order during an emergency security meeting with leaders of various security agencies in the city, on Monday in Abuja.
The minister, who asked those who looted the food items to return them immediately, disclosed that
there would be massive deployments of security agencies to safeguard factories and warehouses in Idu Industrial District of the city.
”What is going on is was no longer #EndSARS protest but broad day stealing by hoodlums,” he said.
On her part, The FCT Minister of State, Dr Ramatu Aliyu condemned the looting in strong terms.
Mrs Aliyu said no nation could survive without a food reserve which are being looted across the country.
She called on Council chairmen and Royal fathers to reach out to opinion molders unite the people against looters.
Royal fathers who spoke called for decisive actions to be taken against those looting across the city.
They said hoodlums are beginning to enter markets shops and personal business premises.
Present at the meeting are the Permanent Secretary, FCTA, Olusade Adesola, FCT Commissioner of Police, Bala Ciroma, Brigade commander, Chief of Staff to the minister amongst others.