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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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BREAKING: Minister Of Transportation Rotimi Amaechi Attacked By ‘Misguided’ Nigerians In Spain

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Some persons described as “misguided Nigerians” on Friday attacked the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, in Spain.

Amaechi said he was attacked at an event on climate change held in Madrid, Spain.

The minister disclosed this on his Twitter handle, @ChibuikeAmaechi.

He said Spanish police officers succeeded in stopping his attackers before they could hurt him.

He did not disclose the identities of his attackers.

The minister had tweeted:

Recall that the immediate past Deputy President of the Senate, Ike Ekweremadu, in August, confirmed a physical assault on him by some members of the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra in Nuremberg, Germany,

Ekweremadu confirmed the attack in a statement released by his Media Assistant, Uche Anichukwu, in Abuja.

The senator, who also gave an account of the event on his social media handle @iamekweremadu, also said that he was safe.

He condemned the attack and said he had immediately reported it to the Nigerian Ambassador to Germany, Mr. Yusuf Tuggar.

Ekweremadu had said, “I attended the Second Annual Cultural Festival and Convention organized by Ndi-Igbo Germany in Nurnberg today where I was billed to give a keynote address along with the President-General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief Nnia Nwodo, who, however, could not make it eventually.

“I was given a resounding welcome by Ndigbo in Germany and everything went smoothly until some men, who identified themselves as IPOB members stormed the venue and began to complain about the killings in the South East, stressing that there would be no Igbo event at the venue.

“I tried to engage them, but when they became unruly, I had to leave the venue. The organizers also invited the police and I was accompanied out of the venue.

“Much as I am disappointed in their conduct, especially as I am one of the persons who have spoken up on justice for Ndigbo, the Python Dance, judicial killings in Igbo land and elsewhere both on the floor of the Senate and in my written and personal engagements with the Presidency and the media as well as rallied the southeast Senate Caucus to secure Mazi Nnamdi Kanu’s release with Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe taking him on bail to douse tension in the South East, I nevertheless do not hold this to heart against them, for they know not what they do.”

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Sowore Vs DSS: Suspend The Nigerian Constitution, Declare Full Military Regime —- Deji Adeyanju Advises Buhari

Gbemileke Ajayi

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Convener of Concerned Nigerian, Deji Adeyanju, on Friday charged President Muhammadu Buhari to suspend the country’s constitution, disband National Assembly.

Speaking with newsmen, Adeyanju also charged Buhari to abrogate the judiciary and transform into a Military Head of State because he is a “tyrant.”

He was reacting after operatives of the Department of State Services, DSS, invaded the courtroom of an Abuja Federal High Court, chased away lawyers before re-arresting Omoyele Sowore, convener of RevolutionNow Movement.

Adeyanju said: “This is tyranny taken too far. We are now in a full military regime. Buhari should suspend the constitution, disband the national assembly, abrogate the judiciary and come out fully as military head of state.

“You saw the way they stormed the court like gangsters, chased away lawyers and took him away.

“Buhari is a tyrant. He has no human Sympathy.”

This is coming less than a day after he was released by the DSS after an Abuja Federal High Court ordered for his release within 24 hours.

Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu also ordered the DSS to pay the sum of N100,000 to Sowore, for refusing to release him on bail despite two court orders to that effect.

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Hadiza Lied! We Never Sponsored Thugs To Harass NPA MD – Ocean Marine Solutions

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The management of Ocean Marine Solutions Limited (OMSL) has debunked any knowledge or involvement in the physical attack of the Managing Director of Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Ms. Hadiza Bala Usman, at the National Assembly.

NPA boss Ms. Hadiza Usman petitioned the President of the Senate, Dr. Ahmad Lawan alleging that she was physically attacked by hoodlums at the premises of the National Assembly in Abuja on Tuesday.

She claimed that her attack was sponsored by Chairman of Messrs Ocean Maritime Solutions Limited (OMSL), Captain Wells Okunbo apparently over the decision of the NPA on the Secure Anchorage issue after attending an investigative hearing in the Assembly.

She said that she was only saved a bigger assault by her security agents who took her into Senator Danjuma Goje’s office where she waited for the hoodlums to leave.

Reacting to the allegation, Commodore Chuma Adogu (rtd), said the allegation was a falsehood and a figment of imagination, saying the Chairman of OMSL, Captain Wells Okunbo, a fine gentleman who has served the nation diligently in various capacities, could not have sponsored thugs to attack the NPA boss.

Commodore Adogu (retired) noted that on that Tuesday there was no any sign of such alleged attach or rented crowd in the premises of the National Assembly that could warrant such allegation, maintaining that OMSL Management came to the National Assembly just like other invited organizations on the day of the investigation by the Joint Committee of the Senate investigating the Secure Anchorage Area (SAA).

‘’On the day of the investigation at the National Assembly, we came like other invited organizations and we never came with any thugs or rented crowd to harass anybody talkless the Managing Director of NPA. The security at the premises of the National Assembly was very tight as everybody was routinely checked and controlled while entering thus forestalling any rented crowd or thugs to gain entrance. We came before the panel and presented our position in the SAA without nursing hatred against anyone.

‘’Let me make it clear to the Nigerian public that OMSL is a responsible corporate organization with a lot of Nigerians working as its employees. We are mindful of this and never can we trade it away. I repeat we do not have hands nor did our Chairman sponsor any group of thugs to attack Ms. Hadiza Bala Usman. We see this as part of the attempts to discredit OMS and distract attention from the main issue which is already with the Senate’’ he submitted.

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