PRESIDENT BUHARI SYMPATHIZES WITH RELATIVES OF THE ABIA EXPLOSION
President Muhammadu Buhari has sympathised with those that lost their loved ones to the Abia state pipeline explosion of Friday, October 12.
He expressed regret over the unnecessary loss of lives and property in the explosion, the president then called on communities and state governments that host oil pipelines to be more vigilant and rise to combat the challenge posed by pipeline vandalism.
In a statement on Saturday, October 20, by the senior special assistant to the president on media and publicity, Garba Shehu, Buhari sympathised with those that lost their loved ones. “Despite repeated warnings, these unscrupulous people have vandalised that particular pipeline 684 times in the last six months alone. Each time the pipeline is repaired, they resume their activities, even collaborating with security agents, who are reported to have set up toll gates collecting fees from the vandals. “A fight broke out as a heist was going on and there was shooting, which is believed to have ignited Friday morning’s explosion, during which three security personnel also lost their lives. “President Buhari urges communities and state governments that host oil pipelines to be more vigilant and rise to combat the challenge posed by pipeline vandalism. The Enugu depot of the NNPC has been repaired and ready to function, but remains idle today because of the vandals. “The president also appeals to host communities to collaborate with the NNPC to tame oil pipeline vandalism in their areas.”.
The state commander of NSCDC, Benito Eze, confirmed the number of casualties to newsmen in Umuahia. Eze said that 16 persons, including one woman, died in the explosion that occurred around 2.47 a.m at Umuaduru Village in Umueze autonomous community. He also said that three others died in the fire that occurred at about 3 a.m in a private residence at Umuimo Village in the area.