Niger Orders Scrapping of Illegal Motor Parks

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Abubakar Sani Bello

Laleye Dipo in Minna

The Niger State government has directed the scrapping of illegal motor parks in the state with immediate effect.

The directive is the fallout of last Friday night’s tanker explosion which resulted in the loss of three lives, eight people sustaining injuries, destruction of 35 shops, while 19 vehicles were burnt.

The accident occurred at the Dikko junction on the Abuja- Suleja-Kaduna expressway.

Governor Abubakar Sani Bello gave the directive in a statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Mary Noel Berje, in which the governor attributed the disaster to the illegal and undisciplined behaviour of tanker and trailer drivers.

“It is quite unfortunate that the accident happened. As a government, we are pained to see the lives of our people being cut short, especially as a result of the recklessness of drivers.

“We will enforce all necessary laws with regards to illegal motor parks and other activities on the highways.

“I have therefore directed that the illegal park where the accident took place and other illegal motor parks and markets in the state be cleared off. We would ensure that our laws are enforced to the latter,” Governor Bello was quoted as saying in the statement.

The governor commiserated with the families of the deceased and prayed that God will grant them the fortitude to bare the irreparable loss.

Governor Bello also directed the state Emergency Management Agency to make available an assessment of the accident with a view to ascertaining the level of damages done.

The Director-General of NSEMA, Mr Ibrahim Ahmed Inga, who led other officials of the agency to the scene of the accident on Saturday, said financial assistance would be provided for the injured to enable them undergo treatment as an immediate intervention by the state government.

He said the agency would also compile its report and submit to the governor for further action.

Also at the scene of the accident was the Secretary to the State Government, Mallam Ahmed Matane, and the Speaker of the state House of Assembly, Alhaji Abdullahi Bawa Wuse.

Matane said government would work with relevant agencies in the state to ensure compliance with laws regulating motor parks and business operation on highways.

He encouraged the survivors “not to despair in their moments of trials, but to remain in faith”, praying for their speedy recovery.

Wuse enjoined local governments in the state to “tighten all loose ends in their laws to ensure their enforcements at all means”.

The Unit Commander of the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC), Mr Gabriel Amawo, said the corps would work with other relevant agencies to ensure safe and immediate evacuation of the burnt vehicles and the tanker to avoid further explosion as fuel might still be in it.