Sympathisers wept profusely in Arepo, Ogun State Wednesday as no fewer than 110 suspected petroleum pipeline vandals were roasted to death in an inferno along the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) pipeline.
The vandals were said to be scooping fuel when they ignited the fire which raged for several hours.
Some people could not identify the corpses of their family members and friends, while those who recogised their relatives moved the bodies away in canoes.
The management of NNPC was said to have called the policemen attached to the Inspector General of Police Special Task Force on Anti-Pipeline Vandalism but some policemen were stranded because of the swamp, and could not reach the scene from where corpses were being removed.
One police officer said, “The vandals attacked members of the OPC. We were, however, invited by NNPC to come and secure the area while repairs will be done on the security post. People who were roasted in this inferno should be about 110. The best thing to use here is helicopter because it is not motorable”.
The newly posted officer in charge of the taskforce, Valentine Olumese, a Chief Superintendent of Police (CSP) who was also at the scene, said that the police had completed plans to take over the protection of the area. “The tent that was destroyed will be repaired and access to the scene will be created. Our men will maintain presence.”
NNPC battles arepo pipeline fire, shuts supply
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has intensified efforts to put out the fire at its pipeline network at Arepo, Ogun State.
An unconfirmed report claimed that a clash between two rival groups at midnight(Tuesday) made someone ignite the fire which led to the pipeline explosion.
Confirming the incident, spokesman of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), South West Ibrahim Farinloye, said efforts are on to gain access to the swampy terrain by emergency organisations.
“The NNPC has been alerted about the explosion and has shut down supplies to suffocate the fire while efforts are on to put out the fire by the corporation’s safety unit,” he said.
Boko Haram: Suicide bombers hit Gombe bus station
Suspected members of the Boko Haram sect struck at Dadin Kowa Motor Park in Gombe around 7:30pm Wednesday.
A source said that activities are usually low during the period that the attack took place.
He said, “Two suicide bombers attacked Dadin Kowa bus station this evening. The park is one of the busiest in the town. You get vehicles going to Biu, Maiduguri, Yola but activities are usually low in the evening. So, we just hope that the casualty figures would not be high.”