Human RightsNews

Nigerians Share Diverse Reactions On Looting Spree Across The Country

A group of vigilante members dressed in black and brown uniforms and armed with locally fabricated firearms, swords and sticks controlled traffic and monitored movement around City Mart, a shopping service centre in Gwagwalada area council of Abuja.

They were keeping an eagle eye on the area after an attempt by hoodlums to storm the shopping centre on Tuesday, October 27.

The Nigerian Customs Command and Staff College in Gwagwalada were also not spared, as hoodlums tried to breach the perimeter of the facility.

Over the past few days, hoodlums and looters have targeted COVID-19 palliatives warehouses and private businesses in several states including the country’s capital, Abuja.

Most Nigerians have largely blamed the government and socio-economic stressors for the Nationwide looting and vandalism.

These responses were shared in a recent poll conducted by HumAngle on Facebook and Twitter.

“Looting, vandalisation and arson are on the rise across #Nigeria while law enforcement agencies seem helpless.

“Is it a manifestation of decades of neglect in education and human capital development? We’d like to hear from you on how to tame this festering problem,” HumAngle had posted alongside the poll.

Facebook user Emmanuel Garba said, “Unemployment has been on the rise for decades, human capital development has been neglected by the government. These roots have never been taken seriously, forgetting that they are ticking time bombs.”

“The simple solution is to invest in sports, the youth are looking for where to Channel their energy and the most profitable place is sport. It will not only improve the standard of living but also improve our GDP.

“It will provide a lot of jobs because everybody will be involved in one way or the other, sport is what is boosting America and the British economy. These are the two large economies we know,” said Peter Dinfa Bature.

On his part, Ahmed Muntaqa replied that education and other human capital development projects has been and shall continue to be the basic need and ingredients for any paradigm and perspective of living, and for any form of societal and national development and advancement in all spheres of human endeavour.

Muntaqa added that for decades, Nigerians, particularly the masses, have been suffering from bad leadership and pervasive corruption from its leaders.

“The deteriorating educational standard, poor infrastructure and surreptitious economic mess became an order of the day.

“Therefore, it’s evidently clear that chaos, war, disorder and forceful institutional collapse are the end result and the repercussions of a society whose leaders abandon and sabotage education and other human development projects.

“The current uncertainties are no doubt, the end result of the decades of neglect in these areas of human and societal development,” Muntaqa stated.

Ahmed Y. Taheer shared similar concerns, adding that the absence of all the social, economic factors, increase in all forms of vices in the heart of citizens.

He said, “No patriotism any longer. Sectionalism, tribalism and the words that end with ‘ism’ are regarded with high esteem.”

“It’s time for the youth to speak. It is high time the youth speak with one voice and actualize their ambition (development and progress) using a political platform.

“Set national policy on youth development, education, rule of law/justice reform and good governance,” said Ismail Musa Rilwan.

Sadiq Tijjani Inuwa Bakori said, “The gap between the rich and the poor is too wide. There is so much hunger and anger in the land, aided by the regimes anti-people policies. So nothing came as a surprise.”

Idris Waziri agreed with most of the comments and said, “Comments thus far, are spot on, in terms of agreeing that we have a problem. The current climate was inevitable.

“How we solve this is – identify national issues and NOT issues that can be reduced to, or infiltrated by, the cliche of religious, tribal or selfish motives that any national progress has, thus far, been plagued with.

“#EndSARS, or Police brutality in general, was something we ALL face(d) as Nigerians and could easily identify with.

“Undoubtedly, some elements would want to hijack the “Movement”…..but the Movement should have stayed focused on its demands….which they did….and the Govt accepted said demands.

“Most people would want the Movement to stop there and say, “Well you got what you asked for so go back home.

“For me, and for the record, this is only my opinion, #EndSARS is and should have been about one thing….#EndBadGovernance period,” he added.

On Twitter, @LieselNwafor said, “I think if the government would proactively share the rest of the palliatives openly and transparently to the people.

“It may pacify some but not all. Why is the police now overwhelmed (when)just a few weeks ago they weren’t? Police involvement should not immediately mean shoot on sight,” he added.

@Ahmatee123 raised concerns about the country’s low Human Development Index. He said, “Indeed the HDI in Nigeria is low, and the government seems to be indifferent about the issue.

“Unemployment is on the rise, day in day out people are losing their jobs. Youth are frustrated and angered.”


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Murtala Abdullahi

Abdullahi Murtala is a researcher and reporter. His expertise is in conflict reporting, climate and environmental justice, and charting the security trends in Nigeria and the Lake Chad region. He founded the Goro Initiative and contributes to dialogues, publications and think-tanks that report on climate change and human security. He tweets via @murtalaibin

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