PDP, APC Govs Commiserate with Victims of Lagos Explosion

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Pic 11 Some of thebuildings affected by the Abule Ado Pipeline explosion in Lagos on Sunday (15/3/2020)01633/15/3/2020/WasiuZubir /ICE/NAN

*  Lagos explosion reignited, NNPC alleges 

*Gbajabiamila visits scene, promises govt action 

*Afenifere wants open forensic investigation

Deji Elumoye, Chuks Okocha, Akinwale Adedayo, Udora Orizu in Abuja and Peter Uzoho in Lagos

The Progressive Governors’ Forum (PGF) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) have commiserated with the victims of Lagos explosions.

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has however raised the alarm that the residual fire of the explosion evoked another pipeline fire in the area yesterday.

This is coming as the Yoruba socio-cultural group, Afenifere, has asked the Lagos State government to institute an open forensic inquiry into the explosion.

The Speaker House of Representatives, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila yesterday visited the scene of the explosion.

In a statement issued yesterday, the main opposition party particularly expressed worry about the spate of explosions and other avoidable disasters in Lagos and other strategic states, which it said raised grave public safety concerns in the Nigeria’s commercial nerve centre.

The party in the statement issued by the National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, recalled that in January 2020, a pipeline explosion rocked Abule-Egba in Lagos State in which Nigerians were killed in an inferno that also razed valuables and brought anguish to many families.

The PDP, therefore, called for rejigging of the national emergency response scheme in a manner that would educate Nigerians on how to prevent disasters.

The statement said: “The PDP is grieved by the traumatising effect of the explosion in a school, which killed the school principal, Revd. Henrietta Alokha, and injured many of the students.

“Our party notes the heroic service rendered by Revd. Alokha in saving no fewer than 300 students, but unfortunately lost her own life in the end.”

PDP urged the federal government to confer a worthy posthumous recognition in honour of Alokha, who died while trying to save students in a school where she was the principal.

Meanwhile, the PGF has also commiserated with the government and people of Lagos State over the sad incident.

The Chairman of the Forum, Alhaji Atiku Bagudu, in a statement issued yesterday sympathised with the people of Lagos, especially the residents and indigenes of Abule Ado, who lost their homes, properties, means of livelihood and had been displaced by the disaster.

He said: “We commiserate with the government and people of Lagos State over the sad incidence of the pipeline explosion that caused many deaths and devastating damages to many houses in Abule Ado area of the state. At times like this, we send our condolence message to our colleague Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu and all the people of the state for the unfortunate loss of lives. We pray that God Almighty would give you and the families of those who lost their lives the fortitude to bear the loss.”

In another statement, the Forum also expressed condolences on the passing away of Hajia Hauwa Bello, the mother of Governor of Kogi State, Yahaya Bello.

The forum described the late Hauwa Bello as a great woman of courage and value, adding that she distinguished herself in all aspects of humanity.

Meanwhile, NNPC said yesterday that the residual fire of the explosion evoked another pipeline fire in the area yesterday.

NNPC Group Managing Director, Malam Mele Kyari, said the pipeline fire reignited at 05.10 a.m on Monday.

Kyari, however, said a combined team from the NNPC, and the Lagos State Government, as well as other first responders have effectively controlled the fire.

He added that steps have been taken to prevent a reignition.

In a related development, Afenifere has asked the Lagos State government to institute an open forensic inquiry into the explosion.

The group in a statement signed by its spokesman, Mr. Yinka Odumakin, called for an open inquiry into the incident “which was coming three weeks after the Chief of Army staff announced the presence of Boko Haram in Lagos”.

According to the group, “the explosion targeting a missionary girls school and the impact of it being felt kilometres from the scene with cars parked at far distance having their windscreens shattered make us to reject the different causes the explosion has been ascribed to without any investigation”.

Afenifere therefore canvassed for a forensic investigation “to ascertain the real cause of this explosion that has left so many families bereaved”.

The statement added that Afenifere is distressed by the explosion that killed unspecified number of people and destroyed yet to be enumerated property.

“Our hearts go to all the families who are victims of this great tragedy as we pray for the repose of all souls, who perished in the sad occurence”, the group said.

Meanwhile, Gbajabiamila yesterday visited the site of the explosion, along some members of the House and expressed sadness over the number of people that died during the explosion.

He assured those he met at the site that the government would not abandon the families of the victims to their fate as action would be taken.

“Be rest assured that this is your government, I don’t care which party you belong to, that does not mean anything to me. I don’t care where you come from, I don’t care what religion you practise. I want to assure the people here that the Lagos state government is not going to abandon you, the Federal government, the NNPC was the first to be here, you are not going to be abandoned, the local government chairman is here, your representative, Hon. Oghene is here. You are not going to be abandoned.”