Pipeline fire: Police intensify battle to arrest suspects
Posted By Precious Igbonwelundu
•Residents plead for help
The police in Lagos have intensified moves to arrest suspected pipeline vandals, whose activities resulted in Tuesday’s fire outbreak that razed vehicles and buildings in Abule Egba and Agege, The Nation learnt yesterday.
It was gathered that the police have received actionable intelligence on the whereabouts and other information about the group that siphoned Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) from the pipelines at 4, Segun Akinola Street, opposite Tiper Garage, near Awori bus stop, Abule Egba, which caused the fire.
The Nation gathered that a joint security investigative team has been constituted and its mission is to arrest the suspects and their accomplices in the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
This is just as more residents, including a 78-year-old landlord, Adio Salako, whose building was destroyed, have appealed to the government for succour.
Salako, who has been ill for sometime and was in his country home, Abeokuta, Ogun State, said he was called around 4am and told his property had been razed.
“I was called around 4am on Wednesday that my house has been destroyed by fire. I almost died from the shock, but I had to take my mind off it. I thank God that nobody died in the fire. I will appreciate it if the government can help us get back on our feet,” he said.
An auto-mechanic, Suru Oguntoyinbo, whose workshop was razed and 10 vehicles burnt, said some of the owners have visited the scene of the inferno and have accepted their fate, while others were yet to come.
He said some of the vehicles were repaired and kept for their owners to pick them up before the unfortunate incident.
Oguntoyinbo said: “Some of my customers have been informed about the incident. Some of them did not say anything. I believe they are confused or do not know what to say.
“The government is to blame for this disaster. If the government had secured the pipelines very well, this would not have happened.”
An evangelist, who said he forgot his aged mother in their apartment when he ran with his family, told reporters that as soon as his wife reminded him of her, he ran back to the house without thinking.
Adojo Osagie was thankful to God that he was able to save all members of his family and some of his properties from the inferno, saying the first thing he did was to remove the gas cylinder in their kitchen.
He said: “I am living with my four kids, wife and aged mother. My mother cannot walk without the help of someone. That day, after our night prayer, I slept off and around 2am, one of my daughters started shouting, fire! fire! I woke up and behold, there was fire.
“I opened my door to see if I could find out where the fire was coming from. I went to the kitchen and the fire was not coming from there. I removed the gas cylinder and I saw that the fire was heavy in other flats. I quickly came into the apartment, woke up my wife and children. We ran away forgetting my aged mother.
“I was confused. It was my wife who asked of my mother. I shouted and ran inside the apartment; I carried my aged mother, because she cannot walk without someone assisting her.”
Osagie pleaded with the state and federal governments to assist those who have lost their properties, noting that it was no fault of theirs.
He said it was God who saved him and his family from the destruction, adding that his neighbours usually complained he was disturbing them with prayers.
A community leader, Fatima Mohammed, who said she brought food for some of the victims, wondered why they were yet to be given relief materials.
She said it was bad that no government agency or official had visited to take stock of the damages and give succour to the victims.
Source: The Nation