17th February, 2012
Various types of accidents/incidents that occur all over the world are seemingly similar to each other. But unexpectedness is widely assumed to be the constant characteristic of most of them.
Most of the disasters are not natural except for few like rain storms and earthquakes, while others such as plane crashes, flood, collapsed building, fire incidents and auto crash, among others, are practically preventable and avoidable.
It is rather unfortunate that Nigeria and Nigerians are not only forgetful but forget easily. Government at all levels only become sensitive to issues of insecurity whenever it arises, whereas, there are other terrible and grievous matters begging every minute for government and people’s attention considering the dire consequences.
In the wee hours of 26 December, 2006, tragedy struck at Abule Egba, Lagos where hundreds of lives were lost and properties worth millions of naira destroyed no thanks to exposed NNPC petroleum pipe vandalization, courtesy of poverty and economic hardship which led to scooping of fuel from the damaged NNPC pipe in that axis.
Obviously, the government, NNPC authorities, landlords and residents in that area seem not to have learnt any lesson from the inferno as people still reside there.
Sometime in 2009, a fire disaster occurred in Ijegun, Lagos, via NNPC Pipeline which equally led to loss of lives and properties. Though, in both terrible occasions, the Lagos State government compensated the survivors and relatives of victims.
It is, however, pertinent to note that but for government and people’s insensitivity and negligence, the two ugly events would have been prevented and avoided.
Findings revealed that NNPC’s instituted intelligence and security patrol teams are only concerned about petroleum pipeline vandalization and arrest of the vandals. They neglect and are insensitive to exposed pipelines. So, failure to report such problems to the concerned authority for prompt attention is quite worrisome.
Even if the appropriate authorities are insensitive to the exposed pipelines and its heinous consequences, what about the residents of these areas who drive over the exposed pipelines every day and their respective local governments or LCDAs who are supposed to have alerted the authority?
A very good example of this looming danger can be found at Ogo-Oluwa road, Olumo junction, opposite Redeemed Christian Church of God Hill Top Estate gate, Pipeline, Aboru in Agbado/Oke-Odo LCDA of Lagos state. Southwest Nigeria.