…As Govt Doates N500m To Victims
By Adeniyi Adedeji, Ilorin
The Kwara State Police Command has announced pardon for protesters who looted, but voluntarily return what they stole.
According to the state Police Commissioner, Kayode Egbetokun, such voluntary looter would neither be paraded as criminals, detained nor be prosecuted in court.
Egbetokun made the pledge while parading 144 arrested people over the brigandage and wild looting of government and private property last week, where government warehouse, multinational shopping mall and privately owned malls were attacked and items worth billions of naira looted.
The arrested looters paraded included youths, old and young women, among whom were few nursing mothers.
Egbetokun declared that looters who voluntarily surrendered what they stole would be allowed to go and “sin no more,” but warned that the police would fully go after those still holding on to their loots, promising that even those who give looters covers would equally be made to face the law.
Lamenting the high criminality of a section of citizens, which cut across ages and sex, who engaged in the looting, subjecting innocent businesses to untold losses and also caused wanton destructions, the police boss disclosed that security outfits were still spreading out the dragnets to nab other looters who were still at large with a view to bringing them to face the law.
He therefore urged members of public to supply information about those who engaged in the wild looting, particularly parents and persons providing them cover, on time before the police come after them.
According to him, the same weight of the law would be visited on the direct looters and their accomplices.
Meanwhile, the state government had announced a helping hand of N500 million to all those whose properties were looted last Friday and Saturday
Making the announcement, the state governor, Mallam AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq, said the effort would help the looted victims get back on their feet.
During a visit to the Kwara Mall and Agro Mall on Saturday evening, the governor said the incident may bring businesses to their knees, and cause massive loss of jobs and a surge in poverty rate, implications he said were clearly lost on the “hoodlums.”
He said, “We are therefore not going to leave the business owners like that. We are setting up a N500 million fund for those that were affected to access.
“The application form is live and active on the state government’s website and can now be filled by interested parties. We are going to get them back as soon as possible.”
Debunking claims that government was hoarding palliatives were false, he explained that the food stuffs stolen at the Cargo Terminal were donated to specific vulnerable households and were being distributed across the state for the private sector-led CACOVID Foundation.
He added that the ones carted away from Agro-Mall were relief materials donated to specific victims of the recent rainstorms and floods in eight local government areas of the state by the Federal Government.
He added, “What happened was barefaced stealing and some people are playing politics with it. This is not the time to play politics. It is a time for all hands to be on deck.
“It is not just Kwara they wanted to burn down. They wanted to burn the whole country down. I urge all of us to stand up and resist that.”