Recent reports coming from Ilorin, the Kwara state capital suggest that cooked food theft is becoming a daily occurrence for residents in the state.
According to reports, cooking a pot of soup, especially in the open, is now an invitation to robbers, as cases of eagle-eyed hungry men absconding with cooked food still on the fire is now the order of the day.
Investigations reveal that such incidences have occurred over five times in just a week, in areas such as Tanke, Basin, Sango, Offa Garage, and Kilanko, in the state.
Hunger Causing Theft Of Cooked Food In Ilorin
The cooked food stealing trend is widespread in areas without any perimeter fencing and among women who cook or have opted to cook outdoors with coal pots.
Some victims of the food theft narrate their ordeal, One Alhaja Hamidalat Olawale at Sango said:
“I was cooking around 5.00p.m. in readiness for the breaking of the fast for the day. It was beans and I decided to use coal pot at the open backyard.
“I had added all the food condiments and was waiting for the broth to dry up. But to my greatest surprise, I did not see the pot of the beans again.
“I was shocked discovering this. What amazed me was that the thief did not come for it before it was ready; he or she came when the food was ready and we were already salivating, meaning the person must have been closely monitoring me.”
Another victim, an undergraduate of the University of Ilorin, Anita Bazuaye, said it was her pot of soup that disappeared beside her window.
“It was painful because as a student, it was difficult for me to get money again for another soup.
“In fact, when I managed to start cooking again, I did not leave the place until I had securely packed the pot inside my room.”
Responding to the incident, spokesman for the Police in Kwara State, ASP Ajayi Okasanmi, said no formal report to that effect had come to him or anyone within the state command, but warned that it is a serious matter and will not be taken lightly with anyone caught in the act.
Okasanmi stressed that the Penal Code frowns at theft and as such anyone caught in the act will be treated accordingly.
Meanwhile, a former chairman of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) in the state, Emmanuel Ayeoribe, said the development is not unconnected to the non-payment of workers’ salaries in the state.