Today, Wednesday was a bad day for about 100 people who were burnt to death in a pipeline fire at Arepo in Obafemi/Owode Local Government Area of Ogun State.
The incident which occurred in the early hours of Wednesday, took place at the same location that has seen several fire incidents due to acts of vandalism.
A source told TheCable that the incident occurred after the vandals had finished the operation and were about to leave.
“It was while trying to start the speedboat that there was a spark. I learnt that many people died, but more than 100 of them were so burnt that we could not even recognise their faces.”
The same source said it is very likely for some families to have more than one person in the casualty list as it has always been a closed racket where few people and their family participate. He said the job is known to be quite risky but attractive because of the money.
“It’s a very dangerous job; they die just the way they make money. They make so much money that some of them buy cars after ‘working’ two weeks. Even those who are involved just on the periphery make up to N300,000 in one day. Their arrowheads make more than N2 million daily.” The source said.
“If you go to that place, it is so open and these boys assess the pipelines with little or no difficulty. That with the kind of money to make from illegal sales of petroleum product will keep bringing them there despite the number that die each time this kind of thing happen” Another source said
Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation in a statement signed by the Acting Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, Tumini Green expressed concern that the facility at Arepo has become endangered as a result of vandal’s persistent sabotage.
`We are unhappy that barely one week after the Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Engr. Andrew Yakubu paid a working visit to the scene of the last fire and pumping of products resumed afterwards, we are back to the same situation. It is so sad that vandals and other criminals will not stop breaking into our pipelines.”
She said NNPC will commence repair of the pipeline as soon as the fire is completely put off.