From Olanrewaju Lawal, Birnin Kebbi

Residents of Birnin Kebbi, the Kebbi State capital, have stormed some warehouses located at Kara Market, along Sani Abacha by-pass Road and looted a trailer load of rice and other ware houses located in the area.

Shop owner’s along the Sani Abacha By-pass, where the looting took place, were said to have hurriedly closed their shops due to the effects of the police tear gas yesterday, while residents observing Ramadan prayers along Oando area and Kara Market area were forced to shorten their prayers for their safety.

As a result of the confrontation between crowd and the security agencies, many residents and shop owner’s closed their shops to avoid attacks by hoodlums.

A witness, Mallam Hussaini Dauda, who has shop opposite where the warehouses were located, informed newsmen that residents have been watching trailers off-loading bags of rice, maize and millets in the ware houses for some time.

According to him, “We started seeing crowd since yesterday morning at the venue of the ware houses. Police were also deployed to the place and they used tear gas to disperse them.

“Despite the efforts of the police, the crowd remained adamant. They refused to go. Thereafter, when two trailers arrived to off load the food items again, the crowd descended on the trucks and started throwing stones at the police officers who wanted to be a barrier. They forced the police officers to retreat.

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“One trailer was able to escape, but the remaining couldn’t move due to a faulty engine. Thereafter, the crowd climbed the trailers and all the bags of rice were looted,” he said.

Another trader along the Kara Market, Jalani Idris told newsmen that the crowd, despite the presence of the security agencies, stayed behind and looted the warehouses where the food items were stock piled, including other stores owned by businessmen.

Reacting to the incident, the Kebbi Government State condemned the stealing of food items by miscreants in Birnin-Kebbi.

State Deputy Governor, Senator Umar Abubakar Tafida stated this after an emergency meeting with members of the State Executive Council and Head of the Security agencies in the state.

According to the statement by Mr. Ibrahim Adamu Argungu, SSA Media and Publicity to the Deputy Governor, the heads of the security agencies at the meeting, briefed the Deputy Governor about what transpired.

He stated that: “ To this effect, an enlarged emergency meeting of the Exco and security council on the situation will continue this Monday, April 1, by 10:00 am.

“In the meantime, measures are being put in place by the security agencies to bring the situation under control. The Government is appealing to all law abiding citizens of Kebbi State not to allow the misguided elements use this unfortunate incident for their selfish end,” the statement added.