Local residents, part of the state capital, entered the warehouse and took away items such as rice, garri, noodles, and bottled water.
These materials were initially donated by concerned Nigerians during the 2022 flood disaster in the state. The incident took place around 7:30 pm as individuals arrived with pick-up vans and private vehicles, aiming to salvage the remaining items, many of which had already deteriorated.
The state government swiftly responded by deploying security personnel from the Doo Akpo outfit to secure the facility and disperse the looters. In response to the incident, the government expressed surprise and concern, stating that the food items had been unfit for human consumption.
The Bayelsa State Emergency Management Agency (BYSEMA) released a statement explaining that remnants of the food items, including rice and garri, were cleared from the warehouse and placed outside for disposal after being deemed inedible.
The statement emphasized that these items were not hoarded by the government or BYSEMA, and they were unsuitable for human consumption. Therefore, the government refuted claims of hoarding and highlighted that the unfit items were not genuine palliatives. The BYSEMA also condemned the intrusion into the warehouse premises and criticized the attempt by certain unidentified parties to politicize the incident for political gain.
Moreover, the BYSEMA reaffirmed its commitment to efficiently distributing genuine palliatives provided by the Federal Government to mitigate the impacts of the fuel subsidy removal policy and anticipated flooding consequences this year. The incident underscores the need for responsible handling of relief materials and the importance of transparent distribution processes.