About six persons were feared dead and many other seriously injured in the stampede at the Taraba State Government warehouse where again, the coronavirus (COVID-19) palliatives were warehoused by the state government when hoodlums broke into the warehouse and carted away the palliatives.
We learnt on Sunday that the corpses of the dead have been moved to the mortuary. “We took about six bodies to the federal medical centre morgue between yesterday (Saturday) and the early hours of today. There is hunger in the land and thousands of people moved in to get the food palliatives and unfortunately some died in the process. This is what the government wants by refusing to share the items,” an eyewitness said.
Efforts to reach officials of the Taraba Police Command proved abortive as of the time of filing this report. Meanwhile, the Taraba State Government has imposed a curfew on Jalingo following the invasion of government warehouses with palliatives and other stores in the state. State Deputy Governor, Engr. Haruna Manu announced this in a statewide broadcast in Jalingo.
Manu said the curfew would run from 11 pm on Saturday to 8 am on Monday when the government would further review the situation. “Following certain bad happenings in the state and around the country, government has decided to impose a curfew on Jalingo, to forestall further breakdown of law and order.
“The curfew will run from 11:00pm on Saturday to 8:am on Monday as the government will thereafter review the situation. At about 5pm of Saturday, October 24, 2020, vandals forced their way into government warehouses and looted essential commodities meant for distribution as palliatives in the state.
“Similarly, troublemakers are continuing to lay siege on the streets of the state capital which informed government’s decision to impose the 24-hour curfew to stop the situation from degenerating into mayhem,” he said.
While directing the security operatives to ensure compliance within the ambit of the law, Manu appealed to the youths to change their disposition to help in calming the situation.
But despite the curfew, hoodlums resumed their looting spree on Sunday as the COVID-19 isolation centre at the NYSC Orientation Camp, fertilizer stores, and Essential Drugs among other government and private offices were looted.