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UPDATE: 63 Vehicles, 98 Shops Burnt In Abule-Egba Pipeline Explosion

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No fewer than 63 vehicles, 98 shops, four tricycles, six houses and one church got burnt in the Abule-Egba pipeline explosion which reportedly began around 2am on Wednesday morning in Lagos.

Properties worth several millions of naira were destroyed as the fire from a petroleum products pipeline ravaged the area.

It was gathered that the affected streets were Arowolo, Shobowale, Iyalode Abule-Egba, Taiwo Adewole, Adepegba, Wamon Taofeek, Santos and Owode.

The explosion,we gathered, was as a result of the activities of suspected petroleum products’ thieves from the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation’s pipeline in the Arowolo area.

An eyewitness, Junad Aderogba, said the fire arose from the activities of vandals scooping fuel from a pipeline, adding that the incident was a reoccurrence of a similar one on December 26, 2006.

The 48-year-old said, “This is the third time such a fire incident is happening in the area. The hoodlums, who vandalised the pipeline, came with three tankers to steal fuel. When they finished scooping the fuel, they did not close the pipe and the fuel passed through the gutter and flowed down to the abattoir.

“Some butchers, who were roasting cow skin at the abattoir, were not aware that there was fuel in the gutter. So, the fuel attracted the fire and that was what led to the fire outbreak.”

A visibly distraught widow, Nkem Esezobor, who sells foodstuffs and pastries in the area, said her loss was too much for her to bear.

She said, “A friend called me around 4am to inform me of the inferno but I could not come out at that time because I was alone in the house. By the time I got to the scene, everything in my shop had been destroyed by the fire.

“I lost my husband in July and I moved into the shop barely two months ago. What was lost in my shop was worth over N1m. I don’t know where to start from.”

An automobile mechanic, Mr John Ishola, said he had yet to come to terms with the loss.

He said, “I live in Sango, Ogun State. I was called by my friends in the Abule Egba area. By the time I got to the scene, all the vehicles in my workshop had been razed. When I called the owners of the vehicles, they were not ready to listen to my explanation. I don’t know where to start from now.”

A haulage truck driver, Saka Jibola, begged the government to come to the aid of those who lost properties to the inferno.

“Our members lost eight trucks to the fire. We want the government to help us. We all have families to take care of and this is our only means of livelihood,” he added

One of the residents, whose house was razed down by the fire, accused the police of being accomplices of the fuel thieves.

She said, “The police know those bursting the pipeline in order to steal fuel. Now, the situation has spiralled out of control and they have rendered many of us homeless.

“They are not just doing it; it is the police that have been shielding them. They are the ones who make it possible for the vandals to perpetrate the act. As of 11pm yesterday (Tuesday), policemen were chasing us into our homes after which they stood guard for the thieves. They should make arrests around here too, because some major stakeholders in the area also know about the activities of these thieves.”

However, some properties and a church, Jesus Chosen shepherd Ministry, were spared by the inferno.

Victor Aigbogun, whose shop was spared by the inferno, attributed it to providence.

“When I was called about the fire incident, the first thing I did was to go on my knees and pray. I told God to take control and I had the faith that my prayer had been answered,” he said.

The General Manager, Lagos State Emergency Management Agency, Mr Adesina Tiamiyu, said in a statement that the fire started around 2am.

“The spilled fuel from bunkering activities came in contact with an ignitable source and the impact resulted in the inferno, which razed several houses and cars. No fatality was recorded and the few people injured were immediately attended to by the Lagos State Ambulance Service and the agency’s paramedics,” Tiamiyu stated.

He added that a car lot inside a petrol filling station was affected by the inferno as several vehicles parked there were destroyed.

Giving an inventory of the burnt items, Tiamiyu said nine streets were affected with 38 vehicles, four tricycles, 71 shops, 30 rooms, two blocks of flat and one church auditorium burnt, while several other properties were salvaged, including the Just Rite mall, petrol filling stations and other facilities around Abule Egba bus stop, Awori and U-turn.

The LASEMA boss noted that investigation was ongoing to determine the cause of the inferno and the people involved.

The Police Public Relations Officer, CSP Chike Oti, said undercover operatives of the command were on the trail of the vandals.

He said, “The Commissioner of Police visited the area for an on-the-spot assessment and he was able to speak to the residents to be on the lookout for the vandals, who brought this hardship on the people.

“The source where the fire emanated from was also visited. The CP has detailed undercover operatives of the command to fish out those behind the fire outbreak.”

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HELP!!! 25-year-old Orphan Stranded In LUTH, Three Months After Stomach Surgery [PHOTOS]

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A 25-year-old Nigerian orphan, Adeniyi Onalaja, a generator repairer, has been in the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), Idi-Araba, Lagos in the last three months after undergoing surgery in his stomach.

His ordeal started when he was experiencing pain in his stomach and the journey began from a hospital at Agbowa, Ikorodu and he was eventually referred to LUTH on April 4, 2019.

Upon medical examination, he was advised to go for a CT-Scan and this showed that a tumor was growing in his stomach and he was scheduled for emergency surgery on April 10, 2019, after signing an undertaking that funds will be made available.

Afterward, there was a little complication that made him undergo another surgery because he could neither sleep nor eat on April 23, 2019. He has since been a resident of Ward E6 in the hospital.

According to Onalaja, who hails from Ijebu-Ode, his father passed on in 2006 and his mother died not more than a month ago. He is currently owing the hospital about Six Hundred Thousand Naira (N600,000) only which are the expenses incurred from the surgery, admission, laundry, and drugs from the pharmacy.

The orphan said he is currently living on the remnants of other patients on admission in the Ward because he has nobody catering for him. He expressed his readiness to fend for himself through his generator repairing skills if he has the opportunity to leave the hospital.

He is appealing to well-meaning Nigerians to please help me out of his travail. Adeniyi Onalaja can be reached on 08165635903 and financial assistance will be appreciated, payment can be made into his Sister’s bank account- Bassey Rukayat Aduke, 3107620191, First Bank.

 

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BREAKING: APC Lawmaker Kidnapped

Peter Okunoren

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The member representing Denge/Shuni State Constituency at the Sokoto State House of Assembly, Aminu Magaji Bodai, has been kidnapped.

A close relation of the lawmaker said that he was kidnapped by hoodlums around 1:15am between Dange and Bodai town on Thursday.

“I can confirm to you that my brother was kidnapped by yet-to-be-identified persons.

“His whereabouts is unknown yet and his abductors are yet to contact his family members.”

When contacted, the State Police Command confirmed the abduction.

The Police Public Relations Officer, Assistant Superintendent of Police, Mohammed Sadiq Abubakar, who confirmed that the legislator was kidnapped said, “detail is still sketchy”.

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Buhari Appointed EFCC Guests As Ministers —- Former APC Spokesman Timi Frank

Peter Okunoren

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Political activist and former Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Comrade Timi Frank has said that the corrupt pedigree of some personalities that now populate President Muhammadu Buhari’s new cabinet shows that governance in the country has been officially and effectively handed over to looters and manifestly corrupt individuals.

He called on Nigerians to lower their expectations for true dividends of democracy but should rather expect an unprecedented and astronomical rise in the level of corruption in the country during the period the current administration will remain in office.

Reacting to the inauguration of new Ministers and assignment of portfolios released on Wednesday, Frank, in a statement he signed and made available to newsmen in Abuja on Thursday, said nothing positive can come from the new Ministers because “70 to 80 percent of them have at one time or the other been guests of the anti-corruption agencies with most of them still battling corruption charges in court.”

According to Frank, “there will be more corruption in this cabinet than in any other administration in the history of Nigeria as some of the Ministers purchased their slots and would want to recoup their investments at the detriment of Nigeria and Nigerians.

“Therefore, I urge Nigerians to brace up for more hardships as corruption and incompetence have been enthroned with corruption masters turned Ministers to run the affairs of government in Nigeria.

“Buhari told Nigerians in 2015 that he will cut his salary by 50 percent, reduce the aircraft in the presidential fleet before he became President. He also said he would reduce the cars in the Presidential convoy.

“But Nigerians can testify that this was never done. He neither reduced his salary, aircraft in the presidential fleet nor cars in his convoy.

“With this, therefore, it is clear to Nigerians that General Buhari is a product of lies who has continued to live and rule with falsehood. It is clear that Nigeria cannot move forward under these circumstances because darkness and light have nothing in common.”

Reacting to Buhari’s directive that ministers who want to see him must go through his Chief of Staff or the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Frank queried: “What is the President still doing in office? By this action, he has completely abdicated his responsibilities and declared himself unavailable and unfit to occupy the Office of President.

“To subordinate ministers to the whims and caprices of his aides represent gross abuse of office and the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

“This is impunity of the highest order and a criminal alienation of the states of the federation that these ministers represent. Effectively, General Buhari’s misguided order means that the CoS and SGF are the de facto presidents.”

He said that another reason why Nigerians must not take Buhari and his cabinet serious is that he is not a man of integrity.

“In 2015, while campaigning, General Buhari promised to reduce the cost of governance if elected. After his election, he appointed 36 Ministers in apparent fulfillment of the promise. Why did he appoint 43 Ministers in 2019?

“We don’t need a seer to know that ballooning of the cabinet would greatly increase government administrative cost and impact negatively on his ability to deliver on infrastructural development in the face of dwindling national revenue.

“Never in the history of Nigeria has any President appointed 43 Ministers. What has changed between 2015 and 2019 that led to this atrocious expansion of the cabinet?” Frank asked.

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