Abule Egba, Lagos pipeline explosion: NNPC GMD decries spate of vandalism
• Urges residents to report suspicious activities
The Group Managing Director (GMD) of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mallam Mele Kyari, has decried the spate of pipeline vandalism across the country and urged the residents to report any suspicious activities of anyone to the appropriate authority.
Speaking during an on-site inspection of the site of pipeline explosion in Lagos on Monday, the GMD said “It is unfortunate we lost five lives to this inferno, with many in critical condition in the hospitals, all due to unpatriotic acts of vandals along our Pipeline Right of Way, who made insertions into the pipelines to steal products, leading to disasters such as this.
“We’re working daily with security agencies to contain this situation which portends danger for all of us. Nigerians must know that these acts of vandals are happening within communities and if they are allowed to continue, then they will eventually kill all of us.”
He appealed to Nigerians to support the government and the corporation in exposing the bad eggs among the people and promote a safe society for everyone.
“We, therefore, need the support of every member of the community to expose the bad eggs in our midst. We are counting on Nigerians to help us resolve this as it is becoming a matter of national security concern,” he said.
The explosion, which happened on Sunday evening around Ekoro area of Abule-Egba, Lagos State, was caused by the activities of vandals, who ruptured the pipeline belonging to the Corporation in the area in a bid to steal fuel.
Investigations by the Nigerian Tribune revealed that the vandals have been siphoning fuel from the pipeline for years and in an open environment.
Unlike in the previous explosion which occurred due to pipeline vandalism in a swamp area or in the bush, the latest explosion took place on the street named: “Pipeline Road”.
One of the residents, Mr Akinwale Faloreti, who spoke with the Nigerian Tribune at the scene of the explosion, stated that people living around there are aware of the illegal activities of the vandals.
When asked why didn’t they report, he pointed to vehicles of the Nigerian Civil Defence Corps that were stationed there to prevent such activities but “they are all involved in siphoning off the fuel. It is only when there is an explosion like this that they are exposed. So no one can report again or else, the person’s life will be in danger.”
Meanwhile, the Director-General, Lagos State Emergency Management Agency, Dr Oluwafemi Oke-Osanyintolu, said five fatalities involving three adult males, one female and a five-year-old child were recorded.
He stated that no fewer than 20 people who sustained minor injuries were given on the spot treatment, adding that the fire incident had displaced over 150 people.
Buildings affected include a two-storey building on No 2 and two bungalows on No 4 and No 8 Hamed Sodiq Street, a storey building at No 18 Musa Erimo Street and four buildings, including a storey building and three bungalows on No 1, No 2, No 7 and No 20, Joel Nnadede Street, in Ekoro.
17 shops and 39 vehicles including 33 trucks, three cars and three tricycles were also affected.