President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR

Buhari condemns looting, urges parents to caution children against unaccounted goods

*The President says families must turn back children who bring home unaccounted goods; in the same way, wives must ask their husbands to return looted items brought home

*Condemns perpetrators of murder, arson, stealing, rape, assault and malicious damage to public and private properties in Nigeria

Alexander Davis | ConsumerConnect

Sequel to reports of looting of especially COVID-19 palliatives from ‘food warehouses’ in about 10 states of the Federation, President Muhammadu Buhari has called on Nigerian parents and guardians to not encourage their children and wards to participate in the  nationwide looting spree and destruction of public and private assets.

Buhari said: “Families must turn back children who bring home unaccounted goods; in the same way, wives must ask their husbands to return looted items brought home.”

ConsumerConnect learnt the presidential pronouncement on the recent looting of the Coronavirus palliatives originally meant for vulnerable Nigerians is coming, as the judicial panel of inquiry which the Lagos State Government and other states begin sitting Monday, October 26, 2020.

The President, in a statement Sunday, also expressed his full support and optimism that such inquiry would assist the country to give justice to peaceful protesters who lost their lives, security men murdered, and property owners whose assets were vandalised and looted in the attacks.

The panels of inquiry being set up in certain states of the country are to look into the destruction of lives and properties, housebreak of food warehouses, murder, arson, stealing, rape, assault, and malicious damage to public and private properties that ensued in the wake of the #EndSARS protests across Nigeria in the past weeks.

Mass looting of COVID-19 palliatives from ‘food warehouses’ in about 10 states of the Federation

The President noted: “A government that has launched a massive crackdown on corruption, brought in strong laws for a decisive battle against corruption, pursues loot recovery at home and abroad, and taken strong decisions against those who thought they were above the law, will not fold its arms when an otherwise legitimate and peaceful protest is turning into free-for-all vandalism and looting.

“While the administration has, for its part, blocked so many means of looting public money in a war against corruption, it is the expectation that all civil authorities, community, and religious leaders in the country must rise against the organised looting and plunder we are witnessing in parts of the country.

On the far-reaching implications of the negative development on the country’s economy, Buhari said “what is more is that criminal actions as we have so far witnessed can weaken and erode the confidence of our people and that of foreign businesses in investing in the economy.

“Looting and vandalism will hurt trade and investment growth in our country, both large and small industries, as well as our hardworking people in the informal sectors of the economy.

“These incidents do not reflect well on any society. They are wrong and condemnable and should not be supported by reasonable members of society.”

He also advised that peace, brotherhood, and inter-communal harmony are central to our ethos and urges Nigerians “not to turn against one another in hate.”

It is important that the Police and other security agencies move everywhere to restore calm and normalcy as quickly as possible.

Buhari stated that his administration is working hard through many pragmatic ways to reduce the hardship of the millions of unemployed, poor citizens, and those whose lives have been thrown into disarray by the harsh economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Resort to widespread attacks and the organised looting and plundering of public and private properties in many states are inimical to the public good and stand condemned, he stressed.

He also assured Nigerians that he and his administration have taken note of the grievances of the people in view of the countrywide anti-Police protests.

“We have heard you loud and clear,” saying, his administration has shown a clear determination to take all necessary measures to address the complaints.

But “the violence must stop,” he declared.

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