Obaseki, Ehanire, Kokumo inspect looted medical stores, decry destruction

The trio of Edo State Governor, Mr Godwin Obaseki; the Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire and the Edo State Police Commissioner, Mr Johnson Kokumo, on Sunday inspected the government warehouse looted at Medical Stores Road, Benin City, on Saturday by angry youths.

The warehouse which the state government claimed stored items meant to cushion the effects of unforseen emergencies was left bare by the looting army who carted away all the COVID-19 palliative foodstuffs and other provisions, including medical supplies.

The inspecting trio were accompanied by the Deputy Governor, Comrade Philip Shaibu, Secretary to State Government, Mr Osarodion Ogie and other top government functionaries and security chiefs.

Governor Obaseki dazed by the level of damaged caused the facility, said he was sad over the development.

“This is a medical stores warehouse where we keep medical and hospital supplies that feed our whole hospital network system in the state. The people who use our hospitals are not the wealthiest in our society but the poorest. This is a wicked act on our health care system and I am sure that the amount of destruction here after we may have finished the assessment will surely run into millions of naira,” he lamented.

The governor expressed worry that the act might have negative impact on the state’s already weak healthcare system, which he said the state government was doing its best to strengthen with the help of the Federal Government and other donor agencies.

“This destruction shows and tells you that this is not the intention of the #EndSARS protesters; there is more to it. We will get to the root of this,” he vowed.

Also speaking at the scene, Dr Enahire urged people “who find themselves in custody of what they can’t eat to return them to be used or destroyed professionally as some of these medications can be very harmful to the body.

“I urge the people and the perpetrators to put an end to these kinds of activities. The damage is worth hundreds of millions of naira. These vaccines are meant to prevent diseases and support treatment in the state and taking it away from the health care system is going to have an effect and repercussion. I urge those that carted away these vaccines to return them as they can still be re-used.”

He described the looting as a great setback for the state, expressing the feeling that the #EndSARS protesters would certainly not be happy with the development.

“It will be difficult for Edo State because whatever is vandalised will certainly need to be replaced and it will take time and resources knowing that resources are hard to come by”, he added.

On his part, the Commissioner of Police, Kokumo disclosed that the Command had arrested about 50 persons involved in the looting and destruction.

“We have made over 50 arrests from this operation alone with medical exhibits. The hoodlums have already made away with the few food palliatives and after which they switched to medical equipment,” he volunteered.

The police top brass said he was yet to confirm if anyone suffered from gunshot injuries, noting that the social media reports of gunshot injuries were totally false.

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