Residents broke into and robbed the warehouse in the Yenagoa suburb of Kpansia that was housing aid supplies for flood victims in 2022 on Sunday night.
Walamam Igrubia, the director general of BYSEMA, cautioned individuals who looted the facility not to consume the commodities out of concern for their safety.
He said: “These items are unfit for human consumption and a responsible, caring government like ours will not give Bayelsans such items as palliatives.”
Igrubia added, saying that during his visit to the location as part of preparations for this year’s impending flood, leftover food items—including rice and garri—that were no longer fit for consumption were removed from the warehouse and put outside for disposal the following day.
He said: “The remnants, which were swept from the floor and packed in disused bags, were less than 10 bags of rice and garri and with some broken cans of oil.
“For emphasis, BYSEMA states that these items were not fresh food palliatives and were not hoarded by the agency or the state government.
“In essence, there were really no food items to loot. So, those who carted away the unfit items are please advised in their own interest not to consume them.”
Igrubia reassured Bayelsans that the agency was ready to tackle both the consequences from this year’s oncoming flooding and the distribution of palliatives provided by the Federal Government as part of containing the effects of its fuel subsidy reduction policy.
But a concerned resident, Alagoa Morris, slammed BYSEMA for allowing the items in the warehouse to go bad without distributing them to victims of the 2022 flood that ravaged the state.
It said: “If truly 2022 monster flood-related items were so stocked and denied victims, it is unfortunate and leaves much to be desired.
“Yes, that there is hunger in Nigeria is not in doubt, but no matter what, not everyone would take actions not supported by law. Let this be a lesson to all stakeholders.”