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#EndSARS: Plateau community cries out, says looting, destruction of Riyom Council Secretariat setback for development

From NDUKAIHE UGWU, Abuja

A Plateau community under the umbrella of Riyom Development Association has cried out over of the “massive” looting that took place in the local council and subsequent destruction of Riyom Local Government Secretariat by hoodlums who hijacked the ENDSARS otherwise peaceful protest, in Plateau State.

Speaking at a press conference in Riyom shortly after a tour of the vandalized local government secretariat and other government property in Riyom Local Government Area of the State, Chairman of the Development Association, Da. Dauda Dyek declared:

“We, on behalf of the entire Riyom Community, wish to condemn this unwholesome action in strong terms; this is a setback for the progress of the entire local government area and the State in general

“We also want to appeal to our citizens that anyone in possession or aware of our items from the aforementioned offices should return them immediately as we appeal to all to desist from such unproductive actions henceforth as ENDSARS could not be linked with such unwarranted actions.”

He lamented that the “mindless” vandalism visited on public property in the local council was extended to the School of Home Economics, Acha Research Centre, Education Area Office, the security offices and the National Identity Management Commission all located in the local government council.

According to the Dagwom Rwey of Riyom, Da. Samuel Jok, who also spoke on the incident, the council secretariat was completely destroyed by the hoodlums who hijacked the ENDSARS protest in the State.

“I am sad over the looting and vandalization of the Riyom Local Government Secretariat and other government property by hoodlums who hijacked the ENDSARS peaceful protests in the State,” he agonised.

“These hoodlums completely destroyed the entire Secretariat and carted away everything in all the offices. That action has set us back and will, certainly, affect development in the council. We have given time to those who carried out the criminal act to return the carted property before we embark on house-to-house search.”

He lamented that some of the items, which have been returned have been damaged beyond repairs, a situation which, he stressed, would cost the local government huge sums of money to fix.

Former member House of Assembly and the immediate past Management Committee Chairman of Riyom Local Government Area, Hon. Emmanuel D. Jugul, who also inspected the vandalized local government secretariat, appealed to those who are still in possession of looted items to return them.

Describing the damage visited on the local government area by protesters as “criminal”, Hon. Mafeng Gwallson, the Management Committee Chairman of Riyom Local Government, also lamented that though, the Council had recovered some of the items looted, most of them had been damaged beyond repairs.

He disclosed that a technical Committee had been set up to assess the level of damage to enable the Council determine the next line of action, describing the “unhealthy” development as a serious setback for the growth and development of the area.

“We are working restlessly to recover some of the items that were looted in all the offices in the council area. As we speak, there is no office in Riyom Local Government because all of them were vandalized and items in them carted away,” he surmised.

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