A Nigerian senator, Adelere Oriolowo, has explained how some hoodlums searching for COVID-19 palliatives looted his houses and farms.
PREMIUM TIMES on Saturday reported how some hoodlums carted away valuables across Osun State. The places affected include Iwo Local Government Secretariat and the homes of some politicians including former deputy speaker of the House of Representatives, Lasun Yusuff, spokesperson of the Senate, Ajibola Basiru and that of a senator representing Osun West, Mr Oriolowo.
Reacting to the attack on his home, Mr Oriolowo in a statement sent to PREMIUM TIMES by his aide, Adam Adedimeji, on Sunday, said hoodlums looted property and personal belongings worth several millions of naira at his Iwo and Osogbo homes.
The senator's farms located at Odo-Oba and Alagbede, both in Iwo, Osun state were equally looted, vandalised and destroyed, the aide said.
"Preliminary information gathered was that the hoodlums came in search of palliatives and COVID-19 relief materials purportedly stored in the Senator's house. This dastardly act was very unfortunate and unwarranted and condemnable by peace loving people of Iwo and Osun state in general."
He also denied being in possession of government palliatives, saying he is not a member of the Osun State committee saddled with the responsibility of sharing COVID-19 relief items to the people of the state.
"It should be recalled that at the peak of the Coronavirus when the whole country was on lockdown, Senator Oriolowo distributed several food items comprising rice, beans, chicken, eggs and yam to the people of his constituency from his own personal purse."
"At no time was relief items given to him by the FG or state government for distribution to the people. Food items distributed by the senator was his own initiative and it was done to ease the suffering of his constituents as a result of the rampaging COVID-19 pandemic."
"To think he is hoarding a certain number of palliatives at his home or anywhere else was nothing but the highest form of ignorance fueled by the desire of a number of disgruntled elements with intention to steal and destroy an innocent man's properties."
"Meanwhile, when the illusory palliative items being looked for were not found, it beats the thinking of rational minds that the hoodlums would result to barefaced stealing and destruction of the Senator's houses and farms, his personal investments of more than three decades."
"While it is difficult to ascertain the total estimates of the stolen and vandalized houses and properties, it should be noted that the house in Iwo was totally looted and turned upside down with several vehicles in the premises destroyed."
The senator's house in Osogbo was equally looted with several furniture and electronic items carted away.
"The multi-million naira farm facilities were looted, vandalised, and destroyed with farm produce, livestocks, and substantial farm equipment and machineries of monumental proportion carted away," the statement noted.
Already, Governor Gboyega Oyetola has issued 72-hour ultimatum to looters to return all stolen items from private and public organisations.