Looting: Youths reacting to poor governance, hunger, says PANDEF

The Pan Niger Delta Forum has said the looting and destruction of private and public property by youths across the country is a reaction to poor governance and widespread hunger in the land.

PANDEF said there was a serious disconnect between the government and the people, a situation it noted had made it impossible for the country’s leadership to feel the pain of the people.

The forum also explained that the yawning gap between the leaders and the masses was the major reason why some political leaders would withhold COVID-19 palliatives designated for the people, who were in dire need.

The PANDEF spokesman, Mr Ken Robinson, who made these remarks in a telephone interview, argued that though the wanton destruction of private and public property across the country was condemnable, the youth were only reacting to the poor handling of Nigeria’s affairs.

He said, “It is unfortunate that food items expected to be distributed to vulnerable Nigerians since the COVID-19 lockdown period in April, May, June, July, August and up till September, and this is October, are still locked up in warehouses across the country.

“They are now being discovered and looted by Nigerians; yes, by Nigerians and not hoodlums. They are not just only young people, they are the active population of Nigeria and they are hungry and angry. The people are perturbed; the people are irritated with the way and manner the affairs of the country are being conducted.”

He said some of the excuses by some leaders, whose houses were attacked and items looted there, were ridiculous and shameful.

Robinson stated, “These COVID-19 palliative items that are being discovered are under the stock of states, but the state governments are proffering some excuses or reasons why these items were not distributed to vulnerable Nigerians.

“These excuses are untenable and some are very ridiculous. You can imagine that a senator was alleged to have said that he was waiting for his birthday to distribute COVID-19 palliatives. So, the people he wants to empower will be living in hunger and poverty with no means of livelihood and then he keeps those items stocked, while the residents wait for his birthday.

“This is most ridiculous, and for him to open his mouth to say that is shameful. That is the widening gap between the leadership of the Nigerian polity and the Nigerian people.”

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