Nollywood actress, Uche Elendu, had announced during the week that her store in the Lekki area of Lagos had been vandalised and looted by hoodlums following the shooting of unarmed protesters at the Lekki toll gate,.
However, a colleague of hers, Doris Ogala, alleged that she was not being truthful about the extent of the loss saying her store was a small one compared to others in the mall.
Speaking in an interview, Elendu says her focus is on rebuilding her business and she would not pay attention to Ogala.
She said, “My store located at Penny Mall, Providence Street, Lekki Phase One, was looted. Prior to making a post about it on social media, I and other shop owners in the mall were added to a WhatsApp group and pictures of the damage to the mall were uploaded there. Those were the pictures I posted on Instagram as I could not go there initially to see things for myself because of the curfew in the state. It was when the curfew was eased that I went there to take pictures and videos. I really don’t have any reaction to the person who claimed I misled the public about my store being looted. It is not something to be happy about that my shop was looted. I actually lost millions of naira to the incident. My store opening was well publicised with a lot of press and celebrity presence, so what is so interesting about my neighbours’ shops? I would not pay attention to whatever was said to the contrary. My focus is on how to start all over again and get back on my feet.”
On the support she would need, the actress said, “Unfortunately, my store and goods were not insured. It is regrettable that I have to start all by myself from the scratch.
“At this point, I need prayers and support (moral, emotional, spiritual and financial). We are hoping that the government would reach out to us in one way or the other. It is hard seeing everything one worked for going down the drain in the space of a few hours. However, I know the looters must have spent a long time there because there were lots of items in my store and the others in the mall, yet they made away with everything. The businesses in the mall include a pharmacy, furniture store, spa and boutiques. In my shop, I sold weight loss products, waist trimmers, household items and other things. We got information that there were more than a thousand people, including women, that looted the place. They came with sticks, cutlasses and other weapons. In the process, they wounded the security man who was on duty. They then destroyed the things they could not carry with them.”
On roles of her colleagues to help her out, she said. “My colleagues have been amazing. I have received calls from basically all the people that matter in the industry. I honestly did not expect that much love from them. I am grateful to all of them,” she added.