Oil Refinery Tragedies: Buhari orders security agencies to clampdown on sponsors
• Death toll rises to 110 in Imo illegal crude oil refinery
• Scores burnt beyond recognition in Egbema-Ndoni
Daily Courier – President Muhammadu Buhari has directed the nation’s armed forces, security and intelligence agencies to intensify the clampdown on illegal refineries.
The directives followed reported deaths of tens of people in an explosion that rocked an illegal crude oil refinery in Abaezi forest, Ohaji-Egbema Local Government Area of Imo State.
The number of victims in the illegal crude oil refinery in Abaezi forest, Ohaji-Egbema Local Government Area of Imo State so far recovered to 110.
The Head of Operations, National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Mr Ifeanyi Nnaji, said the latest addition was a pregnant woman whose belly bust, exposing the foetus.
Nnaji, who described the scene as horrific, said the charred remains of the victims had been gathered and were awaiting mass burial.
He added that as of 5:00 pm on Sunday, they were awaiting the arrival of the Commissioner for Petroleum Resources and the Commissioner of Environment.
Nnaji stated that none of the victims had been identified so far as they were burnt beyond recognition.
He said, “We are awaiting the arrival of the commissioners of Petroleum and environment to perform mass burial because the bodies are decomposing.
“It is a large market involving people from all parts of the country; and since they burnt beyond recognition, it is very difficult to identify them. A family just came and saw one body, which they said resembled one of their own and they carried it for burial according to traditional rites.”
Buhari orders security agencies to clampdown on sponsors, perpetrators of illegal refinery
Describing the incident as a catastrophe and national disaster, President Buhari in a statement issued by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, said the responsibility for the loss of lives and property must squarely lie with the sponsors of the illegal refinery, “who must all be caught and made to face justice.”
In conveying “the condolences and the full depth and range of the nation’s shock and trauma” to the families of the victims, the Ohaji Egbema community and the government and people of Imo State, the President urged community leaders, the police and the secret service to never allow the occurrence of the heart-breaking incident in any part of the country again.
Scores burnt beyond recognition in Egbema-Ndoni
Scores of people were on Saturday burnt beyond recognition, following an explosion at an illegal oil refinery in Rivers.
Mr Idris Musa, Director-General, National Oil Spills Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA), who confirmed the incident said investigation into the explosion by the agency was underway.