A group of Local Vigilante group in Igbogene Community in Yenagoa Local Government Area of the state, arrested a 35 –year- old father of two, Kaduna Enatimi, for allegedly ‘stealing’ a pot of soup and over a dozen wraps of ‘fufu.’
According to the head of the Igbogene Vigilante group, Chief MoneySweet Asomo, the accused was arrested at about 2am on Thursday, November 10, 2016, while consuming some wraps of the stolen ‘fufu’ and soup in a local food shop in the area.
Chief Asomo said the accused person, an indigene of Akassa community of Brass LGA of the state, claimed that hunger caused by the prevailing economic hardship led him to steal the pot of soup and the foodstuff ‘to be able to feed his family.”
“We were on patrol at about 2am on Thursday and when we got to the Timida school area, we saw a man at a local food joint eating ‘fufu’ from a pot of soup. The food joint is owned by an Akwa Ibom indegene simply called Madam Blessing.
“We questioned the culprit and he confessed to have stolen a pot of soup, some wraps of ‘fufu’ and half basin of garri from Madam Blessing’s food joint. He claimed it was the present economic hardship that led him to commit the humiliating act.”
It was gathered that the Paramount ruler of the area, the Obenibe X1 of Epie Kingdom, HRH Hope Green Adike, intervened and asked the vigilante group to parade Enatimi round the community with the stolen items as a deterrent to others and to release him, thereafter.”
The paramount ruler ordered his release against the backdrop of the reason he adduced for stealing the pot of soup and wraps of ‘fufu,’ – the prevailing hunger and hardship under the present administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.
After Enatimi was paraded round the community, he was forced to eat the stolen items in the presence of the indigenes of Igbogene community. He was later asked to go home with remnants of the ‘fufu’ and soup to feed the equally famished members of his family.
The shop owner agreed that Enatimi should be allowed to go home a free man, on the basis that she has no money to report the matter to the police.
The suspect who was forced to eat the stolen food continuously complained that it was hunger that drove him to commit the act, pleading with members of the public to tamper justice with mercy. He said he had no food in the house to feed members of his family.
Though the economic hardship is being felt throughout the country, residents of Bayelsa state, seem to be worst hit, as statutory allocation from the federation account, seems to be the major source of revenue to the state.
And now that the allocation to the state has dropped drastically (from N25b to about N6b monthly) there is now unprecedented poverty in the state, and some people have taken to committing various crimes, some of them petty – to stay afloat – not minding the legal implications.