Imo State Fire: Over 100 lives lost to illegal refinery

Imo state fire

An explosion (Imo state fire) shook illicit refinery installations on the border between Rivers and Imo state, killing more than 100 people.

The many Fire incidents

The incident may have occurred in Abacheka, Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni Local Government Area (ONELGA), Rivers state, according to Fyneface DumnameneFyneface Dumnamene, Executive Director, Youths and Environmental Advocacy Centre (YEAC), who broke the news to Vanguaard, but Police Public Relations Officer, Rivers Command, DSP Grace Iringe-Koko clarified, “Not Rivers state, please.” It is under the administration of the state of Imo.”

Some locals in Omoku, including members of the YEAC’s One Million Youth Volunteers Network of Human Rights Defenders and Promoters in the Niger Delta, voiced alarm about the incident around morning, according to Fyneface.

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Everyone has a role to play

Fineface who shared gory pictures from the razed site of the artisanal refineries narrated, “Specifically, the explosion which also burnt several vehicles that were waiting to buy the illegal products is said to have occurred in a community in Egbama area called Abacheka.

Several carcasses were found on the ground, burned beyond recognition, while others were observed hanging from tree branches, possibly attempting to flee for safety.

“We recall a similar incident in Rumuekpe Emohua LGA in which over 30 people died, just as we recall a fire last week at the Bonny/Nembe Jetty in which some people, including children, died in a fire that the Rivers State Government blamed on both a gas explosion and illegally refined petroleum products at the Jetty.”

“The fact that this imo state fire fatality continues to occur indicates that the government’s war against the threat announced by Governor Nyesom Wike on January 1, 2022 has failed to achieve its intended goal.”

“We urge young people in the state to reject kpofire and join YEAC, the National Facilitator of the Project with Artisanal Crude Oil Refiners (PACOR) for Modular Refineries in the Niger Delta, to demand the immediate establishment of Modular Refineries and the Presidential Artisanal Crude Oil Refining Development Initiative (PACORDI), among other alternative livelihood opportunities for the youths.”

“We further call on the Rivers government to reactivate the Committee on Alternative Livelihood Opportunities for Artisanal Refiners, which is chaired by the Deputy Governor, to collaborate with the YEAC in supporting alternative livelihoods for Rivers’ youngsters participating in kpofire.”

Source: Vanguard New Nigeria

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