*Police Arrests, Parades 56 Suspected Looters
*Health Commissioner In Tears Over Looted, Vandalized Medical Equipment
Hoodlums has continued to reck havoc in Kogi State as they invaded the State Central Medical Store, looted and vandalised medical equipment and consumables worth billions of naira.
The medical store known as Essential Warehouse located along zone 8 Police headquarters was also vandalized by the hoodlums.
The looting and vandalization of the Drugs store is coming less than 48 hours after the State ADP, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and other warehouses were looted on Monday amidst sporadic gunshot across the state capital.
Meanwhile, the state police command said it has arrested 56 suspects in connection to the looting, vandalization of warehouses across the state including the Essential Medical store.
Speaking during the inspection of the medical warehouse, the State Commissioner for Health, Dr Saka Audu, who could not held back his tears expressed shock over the unfortunate development, said it will be very difficult for Kogi to recover from the medical destruction.
“Kogi state do not have the capacity to recover what had been carted away or vandalised in a short term period without adequate external intervention and support.
”With a heavy heart I am obliged to make public a very sad development, a kind of which I have never witnessed in my whole life. The Kogi State Central Medical Store was burgled and equipment worth billions of naira were stolen.
”Those equipment that couldn’t be stolen like the; Walk in refrigerator for immunisation, components of MRI/CT Scan machines were vandalised beyond repair, while others were moved from the store and broken into pieces in nearby bushes.
”The situation is indeed worrisome, and should be a cause for concern to all Kogites as it sets us back many paces in our efforts to provide quality healthcare to all.
””It is also beyond my comprehension as the items in our store bear no semblance to food items which could be of benefits to these heartless invaders. The impact of this dastard act will linger for long”, Audu said.
He stressed that the state had lost the entire content of the medical store, saying not even office equipment or ordinary immunization cards were untouched.
“Medical equipment such as Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), and Computed Tomography machines, Digital Mammography, Digital Radiography, consumables, drugs, office furniture, air conditioners, solar power unit, fans, among others were either looted or vandalised.
”The implication of this is that the Drug Supply Chain and cold chain for routine immunization will be disrupted; we will not be able to carry out routine immunization to the good people of Kogi State.
”This is one of the saddest moments in my entire tenure as the commissioner for health, as I keep picturing a gloomy and uncertain aftermath for the Kogi State Health Sector. I am heartbroken and we are at a loss on how to come out of this predicament.
”A store that successive State Government Administrations and Health Development Partners have invested billions of naira to equip was emptied in a matter of hours is heart wrecking”, the Commissioner lamented sobing!”
However, the State commissioner for Police, Mr. Ede Ayuba said 56 suspects have been arrested in connection with the looting and vandalization of warehouses across the capital since Monday.
“Consequent upon the reports of looting of some government facilities across LOKOJA metropolis, I mobilized and personally led others heads of security agencies and coordinated the operation to halt further slide into lawlessness and brigandage.
“I am pleased to inform you that the ongoing operation which has been carried out with dedication and passion led to the arrest of fifty-six (56) suspected looters of Agricultural Development Projects, Essential Drugs warehouse and the Federal Ministry of. agriculture offices in LOKOJA and recoveries of some looted items.”
Items so far recovered and paraded by the police were; forcefully dismembered air conditioners, computers, electronics, medical equipments, ceiling fans, spraying machines, farming chemicals amongst others.
Ede said all the suspects will be arraigned in court on completion of their investigation.
However, the street of Lokoja is gradually returning to normacy on Wednesday as some of the banks and schools who did not open for businesses on Tuesday have resumed.