Hard times push more Nigerians to stealing food
a primary school teacher from Gireil Local Government in Adamawa State, identified simply as Julius, was beaten to pulp after he was caught stealing food in his neighbour’s house. Iyawa added that after the beating, Julius was taken to the hospital for treatment. Saturday PUNCH learned that Julius and other primary school teachers in the state were being owed six months salaries by the state government. A teacher in the state, Ahmad Muhammad, confirmed that the development had turned some of his colleagues into beggars and thieves. “I’m also a primary school teacher in the state and we have not been paid our salaries of up to six months by the state. Many of us are finding it hard to live,” he said. In a similar vein, around 11am on August 18, 2016, a 52-year-old man, Amos Musa, from Tunga, Nasarawa State, was said to have slumped after a porter absconded with the foodstuffs he bought at the Madalla market in Suleja, Niger State. According to eyewitnesses, Musa, who has two wives and 11 children, had bought yam tubers, garri, rice, a gallon of palm oil and soup ingredients, had called for the porter to convey the food items to the main road in order to take a taxi. Musa was said to have lost his sight of the porter carrying his food items when he stopped to buy some fairly used clothes in the market. Apparently, it was when the wheelbarrow pusher noticed that Musa’s attention was no longer on him that he decided to abscond with the goods. On Thursday, August 25, 2016, a 30-year-old man, Samodi Olorodo, was remanded in prison custody for allegedly stealing 18 tubers of yam and a bunch of vegetables worth N50 from a storeowner, Adeneye Safiu, in Abeokuta, Ogun State. The prosecutor, Olakunle Shonibare, told the Abeokuta Magistrates’ Court that the offence was committed on Monday, August 1, 2016 at about 10am in the Oke-Odo area of the city. Safiu had reportedly seen the accused person coming out from his store with the tubers of yam and bunch of vegetables on his head. When he asked Olorodo where he got the food items, the latter could not give a sound response. This made him call the police who then arrested the accused. Recently, the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps reported about the arrest of two people who were caught stealing food in the Jidari Polo area of Borno State. The NSCDC Commandant, Ibrahim Abdullahi, said that the command had recorded 10 complaints of food theft by residents before the arrest was made. He said the culprits specialised in invading people’s houses on Sundays when Christian residents had gone to church. “What is very surprising is that they didn’t steal anything apart from food items. Anytime we hear of such incidents, we always discover everything to be intact in the houses except for the foodstuff,” he said. An economist, Mr. Babatunde Abraham, said it was important for the President Muhammadu Buhari led- administration to quickly resolve the hunger crisis in the country. “The economy is in recession, no doubt, but when hunger persists, it creates room for crime. These people stealing food items may graduate to robbing banks if care is not taken. We shouldn’t overlook this situation. It is saddening that the rate of food theft has increased. The government should quickly find ways of combating hunger,” he said.