Two Dead, Scores Arrested After Warehouse Looting In Nigeria’s North East

At least two people were killed when soldiers opened fire on a group of young people as they looted a warehouse filled with emergency food supplies in Yola, the Adamawa state capital. Scores of people have been arrested, police say.

At least two people were killed when soldiers tried to restore order as groups of young men stormed food stores in Adamawa in Nigeria’s North East, HumAngle understands.

An official casualty toll has not been released, but police confirmed they arrested 110 people in the state capital Yola, following the raids which quickly spread from government food warehouses to private businesses in the market on Sunday July 30.

The state government initiated a round-the-clock curfew. A day later the curfew was relaxed to allow people to move around in the hours of daylight. 

HumAngle has spoken to two people, one who saw a dead body in the street, and another who knew someone who was killed. Other reports have put the death toll as high as five. None of the dead have been officially named.

Police officials say they have “yet to be briefed” on the casualties.

Witnesses to the looting told reporters that the youths who stormed the stores said the cost of living crisis sparked by the removal of the fuel subsidy was the spark for the riot.

But staff at the local government and the agencies affected, said the looters were “just criminals”.


Police said the men and women arrested will be charged with armed robbery.

Police public relations officer Suleiman Nguroje said they were putting together a task force to investigate the circumstances of the looting. The final death toll of the incident would be part of that investigation.

“But as I am talking to you now, I am yet to be briefed on the issue of death casualty or if at all somebody has died,” he said.

Some of the stores looted belonged to the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and held stores of basic food in case of natural disaster. 

Head of Operations at the Adamawa branch of NEMA Ladan Ayuba said the warehouse was stripped by armed men, who also smashed the place up.

He said: “If it is hunger we should see them coming without cutlass, matchets and dagger, we should see them without any weapon, they should be able to carry food and should carry the items if it is food items they carry fine, but after packing everything they now vandalise everything, our offices they vandalise our air conditioners, computers and everything’’. 

He said the stores of rice, noodles and palm oil were part of a national aid scheme that was set to be distributed to needy people next week.

Looters also stole generators and sacks of seeds for planting.

Humangle Accountability Fellow Abdulbasid Yusuf contributed to this report.

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Abdulkareem Haruna

Abdulkareem Haruna is a Nigerian journalist currently employed as the Editor for Lake Chad at HumAngle. For over a decade, he has demonstrated a passionate commitment to reporting on the Boko Haram conflict and the crisis in the Lake Chad region of northeastern Nigeria. He is a graduate of English Language and holds a Diploma in Mass Communications. Prior to his current role, he served as an assistant editor at both Premium Times and Leadership Newspaper.

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