By Stanley Onyekwere
No fewer than three persons were feared dead, while several others sustained various degrees of injuries yesterday in Gwagwalada area of Abuja, when security operatives foiled attempt by suspected hoodlums to invade Customs College Quarters, in search of COVID-19 palliatives, believed to have been kept in the area.
It was gathered that mob had converged in the area, as early as 8am, in their effort to invade the quarters, which houses a warehouse, containing some COVID-19 palliatives.
Also, some security operatives at the entrance gate into the quarters, had resisted the hoodlums who led the mob , as they shot into the air, to disperse then and in the process the said causalities were recorded.
The shooting of one of the invaders, however brought calm to the area, as other mob mainly youth took to their heels for safety.
An eyewitness/resident of the area, Bello Muhammad, noted that some of the youths, who were involved in the foiled attempt to invade the Customs College Quarters, were those who were not opportune to participate in the looting of a warehouse in Gwagwalada yesterday.
“Today, these youths came out in mass again, especially those who do not have the privileged to participate in the looting of a warehouse in Gwagwalada yesterday.
“They were also joined by those who must have gotten information that there is warehouse at the Customs College Quarters, where some palliative items are kept.”
Muhammad therefore called on government to address the problems of the youth and to do the needful to avoid the ongoing looting by suspected hoodlums in parts of the Territory, even as he appealed to the angry youths to keep calm and allow peace to reign as government would look into the situation to proffer a lasting solution.
In a related development, scores of armed hoodlums also invaded the National Youth Service Corps NYSC Orientation Camp in the Kubwa area of the FCT, and carted away mattresses, utensils, electronics and other items.
While the warehouse at the camp is said to be empty, the hoodlums attacked some residents of the camp as well as shops adjacent the camp.
They had blocked the road at about 9am, turning back motorists while the Kubwa village market was immediately shut by its managers to avoid any invasion.
While soldiers and a detachment of the Nigerian Police struggled to ward off the invaders, the Nigerian Air Force and the Airwing of the Nigeria Police embarked on air patrol with helicopters hovering around the scene.
The ensuing confusion forced some parents and guardians to go and evacuated their wards from schools in the area.
Though the hoodlums were armed with jack- knives, sticks, matchetes and other dangerous weapons, some residents of the area were said to have earlier joined in the looting.
Similarly, there was anxiety in Kuje, one of the six area councils in the Territory as some people searched everywhere, to loot any warehouse where in there are COVID-19 palliatives.
It was gathered that matched round the street with sticks, blocking roads within the Kuje township, forcing residents to scamper for safety even as traders were seen locking their shops and moving out of the market to avoid be caught up in the crisis.