Nigeria looting hits capital
Huge crowds ransacked grocery stores in Nigeria's capital Abuja on Monday as the country was ransacked during a wave of unrest.
Lines of residents could be seen carrying away bags of supplies to be distributed during the coronavirus lockdown as authorities battled to stop the looting.
"We're hungry, you see," a man told AFP with a packet of pasta in hand.
"There is a lot to eat in this country, but the people are suffering. The government is deceiving us by cutting this food."
"We don't steal, it's our food and our right."
The Minister for the Federal Capital, Malam Muhammad Musa Bello, told the local media that a number of state and private camps were destroyed.
The looting comes after days of violent unrest in Nigeria after unarmed demonstrators were shot dead in the largest city of Lagos on Tuesday.
The situation in Lagos and elsewhere has calmed down, but widespread looting of government supplies has been reported across the country.
The authorities have imposed curfews on a number of regions around the clock and the police chief has ordered the mobilization of all armed forces.
Anger is fueled by allegations that officials collected much-needed food that was said to have been given to the poor during the lockdowns earlier this year.
A coalition of governors has denied the transplant allegations, saying the supplies would be withheld as a "strategic reserve" in the event of a second virus wave.
However, activists said the authorities needed to be more transparent.
"It is now important that the federal and state governments clarify why the palliative care has not been paid, investigate and prosecute who is involved in corruption," said Anietie Ewang of Human Rights Watch.
On October 8th, peaceful protests broke out against the brutality of the police and quickly became one of the greatest challenges for Nigeria's ruling elite in years.
Chaos swirled after peaceful protesters were gunned down in central Lagos on Tuesday, sparking international outrage and violent unrest.
Amnesty International said the army and police killed 12 demonstrators in the incident and that a total of 56 people have died since the demonstrations began.
The Army Chief of Staff insisted on Monday that the soldiers "continue to exercise restraint" and accused a "smoke screen of falsehood and willful misrepresentation of facts staged by enemies of Nigeria".
"We will not allow any forces, elements or destabilizing agents in or outside our country to set fire to our beloved country," General Tukur Yusufu Buratai said in a statement.
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