Abuja - Senate President, Bukola Saraki, has decried the loss of human lives in the petroleum pipeline fire incident at Arepo in Ogun State.
He expressed shock that over 100 people were burnt beyond recognition due to activities of oil pipeline vandals as people alleged to be scooping fuel from a burst Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) pipeline.
These were trapped without needed emergency response to rescue them.
He particularly lamented a situation where corpses of victims could not be immediately evacuated by relevant security agencies as a result of the inaccessible terrain.
“The incident saddens me because I realize that these are Nigerians who have met their untimely deaths in such gruesome circumstances,” said Saraki.
“I must say that the fire incident in that area was one too many at a time one would have thought that we have put issues of pipeline vandalism, blamed for the fire incident, behind us. It is also worrisome that security agencies and emergency rescue workers seemed helpless in immediately swinging into action to rescue the affected victims or curtailing the spread of the fire.”
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The Senate President also urged Nigerians to be wary of scooping fuel from burst pipelines as they are veritable source of danger capable of causing unimaginable calamity to lives and colossal economic waste.
“Pipeline vandalism is evil. Apart from it being a heinous economic crime, it often leads to waste of lives and property just like we have again witnessed,” said Saraki.
He said the activities of vandals challenged security agencies to intensify the war against criminals who sabotaged essential economic infrastructure, leading to unnecessary loss of lives, heightened insecurity and resource leakages.
“Our citizens and national assets must be secured against security risks such as pipeline vandalism, oil theft and kidnapping etc, irrespective of where they live or are located in the country,” he added.
He assured that the Federal Government would continue to enjoy the support of the National Assembly in all its current efforts aimed at securing the lives and property of Nigerians.
Nigerians, especially those living in security challenged areas, must take the Arepo explosion as a call to national duty by partnering with the security agencies through timely intelligence so as to prevent recurrence of calamities of these very magnitude.
- CAJ News