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Senate, PDP, others mourn explosion victims
By Emmanuel Oladesu; Gbade Ogunwale, Sanni Onogu, Jide Orintunsin, Abuja; Bisi Olaniyi, Benin and Oziegbe Okoeki
The Senate, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Edo State Governor Godwin Obaseki, Lagos State House of Assembly and others yesterday mourned the victims of the Abule-Ado explosions.
The Senate also called for increased funding for the Federal Fire Service (FFS), in view of its enormous responsibility in tackling fire disasters across the country, like the Lagos explosion on Sunday.
The Chairman of the Senate Committee on Interior, Senator Kashim Shettima (Borno Central), made the call during a familiarisation visit by the Committee to the Headquarters of FFS in Abuja.
Shettima commiserated with the victims of the Lagos explosion and prayed that God should grant the dead eternal rest.
He noted that the FFS had done creditably well in recent times.
Shettima said: “We would like to call on the Federal authorities to really pump in resources toward revitalising and repositioning the FFS.
“We have to commend the management of FFS for doing an outstanding job in spite of the constraints, their working environment, the paucity of funds and other challenges. I believe they deserve commendation and not condemnation.”
He pledged that the upper chamber would repeal and re-enact the Act that established the FFS.
“My colleagues and I would work assiduously to see that the 1963 law setting up this outfit is reviewed.
“It has become obsolete. We need to review it in light of current happenings in our environment. We will also explore options in getting back remittances due to FFS from the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) and other agencies,” Shettima said.
The Borno Central Senator urged Nigerians and other agencies of government to ensure the safety of lives and property around them.
The Controller-General of the FFS, Lima Alhaji Ibrahim, said there was a need for the Ministry of Justice to determine the status of the FFS.
This, he said, would help in the review of the FFS Act which was enacted 63 years ago.
He also called on the Senate to prevail on the NAICOM to remit the equipment maintenance fund to fire-fighting institutions in the country as stipulated in the NAICOM Act of 2003.
He said there was a need for immediate recruitment of more firefighters to address the obviously low firefighters’ ratio to the nation’s growing population.
Other members of the Senate Committee on Interior during the visit included the Vice Chairman of the Committee, Senator George Sekibo, Senator Abba Moro and Senator Betty Apiafi.
Obaseki commiserates with Lagos
Obaseki commiserated with the people and government of Lagos State on the loss of lives and damage caused by the explosion in Abule-Ado axis of the state.
He described the incident as saddening and tragic while lauding the Lagos state government for providing necessary emergency response to mitigate the fatalities from the unfortunate incident.
Obaseki said: “I commiserate with the people and government of Lagos State over the unfortunate incident of Sunday, March 15, 2020, which has claimed not less than 15 lives in the state.
“At this dark hour, our prayers are with Lagosians and the state government. We pray that God grants the families of the victims the fortitude to bear the loss.”
PDP calls for rejig of emergency response
The PDP called for a rejig of the nation’s emergency response in a manner that will educate Nigerians on how to prevent disasters.
The party said the overhaul of the emergency management must be geared towards strengthening the response to disasters by the relevant agencies of government and volunteer groups.
In a statement yesterday by the spokesman for the PDP, Kola Ologbondiyan, the party insisted that drastic measures must be adopted to check recurring disasters in the country.
The PDP expressed shock and grief at Sunday’s devastating explosion in Abule-Ado, Lagos state in which no fewer than 20 persons died and many others were injured.
Also, property worth billions of Naira got destroyed as many were rendered homeless in a gas explosion fire that ravaged the community.
The statement said: “The PDP is particularly worried about the spate of explosions and other avoidable disasters, particularly in Lagos and other strategic states, which raises grave public safety concerns in our nation’s commercial nerve centres.
“The party recalls that only in January, a pipeline explosion rocked Abule-Egba in Lagos state in which compatriots were killed in an inferno that razed valuables and brought anguish to many families.
“Explosion has again brought sorrow, anguish and pain to families who are now suffering bereavement, injuries, homelessness, loss of property and means of livelihood.”
Lagos Assembly urges PPMC, DPR to enforce Right of Way law
Following the gas explosion at Abule Ado on Sunday, the Lagos State House of Assembly on Monday called on the Petroleum Products Marketing Company (PPMC) and Department of State Resources (DPR) to ensure strict compliance on the Right of Way of pipelines.
The House also called on Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu to set up an investigative panel with a view to bringing perpetrators to book.
The resolution followed a motion moved by Hon. Mojisola Ali-Macaulay (Amuwo-Odofin l) and seconded Ageh Sulaiman (Amuwo-Odofin ll).
Ali-Macaulay said: “It was a fatal Sunday. A lot of lives were lost and many people rendered homeless.”
The House called on NGOs both local and foreign to contribute to the Fund set up by the State Government to ameliorate the sufferings of the people.
“Also calls on NNPC and DPR to ensure strict compliance on Right of Way for those that built on pipelines,” the lawmaker prayed.
Hon Abiodun Tobun (Epe 1) said: “Petroleum Products Marketing Company (PPMC) was not doing what was expected of them.
“The pipes are old. I’m of the opinion that Lagos State government should take them to court,” Tobun said.
Southeast APC commiserates with victims
Southwest All Progressives Congress (APC) yesterday commiserated with the families and friends of those who died and lost properties in the explosion that rocked the Abule Ado community, Lagos.
The zonal chapter, led by Pastor Bankole Oluwajana, also prayed for a quick recovery for those who sustained injuries.
The zonal Publicity secretary, Karounwi Oladapo, said in a statement, that the Federal Government should assist the Lagos State government to give succour to the displaced persons.
He said: “The APC in the South West stands by the Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu and the entire people of Lagos State at this grieving moment.
“We equally commended the speed with which the Governor responsibly responded to the emergency by quickly mobilising all the agencies of Government that are responsible for disaster control and emergency management to rescue the situation from further devastation and destructions. We urge the Federal Government to assist the Lagos State Government to provide succour and relief materials to cushion the effect of this disaster of monumental proportion on the affected.”
APC governors condole with Sanwo-Olu
Progressive Governors Forum (PGF) yesterday sympathised and condoled with the government and people of Lagos State over Sunday pipeline explosion which claimed at least 18 lives, injured scores of persons and destroyed multi-million naira property.
The governors, in a letter by their Chairman, Abubakar Atiku Bagudu, said: “We commiserate with the Government and people of Lagos on the sad incidence of the crude oil pipeline explosion that caused many deaths and devastating damages to many houses in Abule Ado area of Lagos state.
“At a time like this, we send our condolence message to our colleague His Excellency Babajide Sanwo-Olu and all the people of Lagos State for the unfortunate loss lives. We pray that God Almighty gives you and the families of those who lost their lives the fortitude to bear the loss.
“We, in particular, sympathise with the people of Lagos, especially the residents and indigenes of Abule Ado who have lost their homes, properties, livelihood and have been displaced by the ruin. We are sure with the good leadership of the Lagos State government, the situation would be managed in the best way possible”.
Archbishop of Lagos commiserates with affected families
The Archbishop of Lagos, Alfred Martins, yesterday commiserated with families who lost their loved ones during the explosion that happened in Abule Odo area of Lagos on Sunday.
Martins, in a statement, also commended the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA), National
Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), the Red Cross Society and the various security agencies for their prompt response during the incident.
“We do not have an official duly investigated explanation for the explosion yet.
“All we know is that a truck accident was involved, the pipeline going through the community was involved as well as a stack of gas cylinders.
“These devastating explosions affected our Bethlehem Girls College, Abule Ado as well as many other buildings in the vicinity.
“Unfortunately, the administrator of the school, Rev. Sr. Henrietta Alokha, and one female security guard died in the process of taking care that the students were safe,” he said.
The archbishop said Alokha and other staff that died paid the supreme price in their bid to lead all the students to safety.
“May their souls rest in peace. No priest died during the incident. The priest who was celebrating the Mass helped in rescuing the students and he himself is safe,” he said.
Martins said the incident occurred while the students and staff were at Sunday Mass.
“With the help of the first respondents, all the students were rescued and some that were injured were rushed to the hospitals.
“The other students have been released to their parents and gone to their different homes. We want to state that all students of the school are reported safe.
“Those who sustained injuries were promptly attended to in various hospitals within the environs.
“We are getting our Education Department along with the Administrators of other Archdiocesan schools to see how the students of Bethlehem Girls College can be accommodated in the other schools,” he said.
The archbishop said that the staff quarters, administrative building, the refectory and hostel buildings were levelled to the ground as a result of the impact of the explosion.
“We are grateful to the Governor of Lagos State, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu for his call to express the sympathy of the government and for setting up a committee to investigate the explosion.
“We wish to commiserate with the families of all those who died in this sad incident.
“We pray for the repose of the souls of the departed and the quick healing of those who were injured.
“Our prayer at this period is that the Good Lord will grant eternal rest to the faithful departed and strengthen all of us with the fortitude to bear the effect of this disaster,” he said.
Senate, PDP, others mourn explosion victims