Scores Killed In Lagos Pipeline Fire!

At least 34 people have been burned to death after a petrol pipeline exploded in Nigeria’s commercial capital, Lagos, officials say.

Local people had been trying to collect fuel from the pipeline, which had been deliberately breached, when something caused the petrol to ignite.

Most of the victims were women and children, who had arrived with fuel containers, witnesses said.

Such disasters are not unusual in oil-rich Nigeria.

A year ago, at least 260 people died in one pipeline explosion in Lagos.

Nigeria produces huge amounts of fuel from its vast oil reserves, but it remains out of legal reach to most of the poverty-stricken population.

“The incident occurred in the early hours of Christmas Day… by the time our team located the place they found about 34 charred bodies,” said Frank Mbah, a Lagos police spokesman.

– BBC News

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2 responses to “Scores Killed In Lagos Pipeline Fire!

  1. The rest of the world fights with issues resulting from natural disasters; like the tsunami that claimed the lives of over 150000 people 3 years ago in indonesia and hurricane Katrina that claimed over 1000 lives in the city of New Orleans in the USA. The opposite is however the case in Nigeria where it seems that we are always faced with disasters resulting from the activities of human beings. Before I go on to tackle this issue and how it may be solved I must first commiserate with the families of those who have lost family members and friends in yesterday’s fire outbreak. May the good Lord give them the fortitude to bear the loss.
    Now to the issue at hand. Going by the series of pipeline fire explosions that have taken place in the country one can almost conclude that in a matter of time we would be experiencing another fire explosion like the one that occured yesterday. The only thing we are not sure of is the venue and magnitude of the next explosion.
    Haven observed that this is now a trend and that those who have died in more recent explosions were aware that lives were lost in past explosions, it will certainly baffle any normal person why they still engaged in the act of scooping of gasoline from damaged pipelines. Another questions which warrants asking is why do people have so little value for their lives? These answers are not far fetched considering the present hardship in Nigeria. When explosions take place like this there is hardly anyway of telling those who actually died. Thos e who are reported missing in this period are automatically assumed dead. This serves as room for ritualist to even operate without being noticed. I would however not be dwelling on this issue as it is another vice which warrants seperate analysis.The Nigerian government has no records of its citizens talk less of finding jobs that would prevent its idle citizens from engaging in such illegal activities.
    The government claims to be improving in a lot of areas such as telecoms, but events like the one that just took place are the actual signals to show that there is nothing going on in the country and that misplaced priorities is the order of the day. Back to the question of why do people have so little value for their lives. Nigerians find it very hard to feed. Food is extremely expensive, and we all know the basic fact that the average person would do anything to feed. Every living thing must nuture to survive, if they can’t get food they would die. This is the reason why accidents like this would continue to survive. Nigerians are not feeding. It is a big problem and that is why people do any thing to survive. Most of the countries we see in the civilized world today do not have it all perfect, however they have been able to solve most of the basic problems such as food, shelter and transportation and as such in the wake of damaged pipelines people would not rush to scoop gasoline. If we are to solve this problem then we must go back to satifying the basic needs of the people. Pipelines would always get damaged either by humans or by wear and tear resulting from corrosion. However we can prevent people from going to scenes of damaged pipelines to scoop gasoline by giving them a value for their lives. This can be done be investing more on the basics such as agriculture and the like. In this way price of food would fall, everybody will be able to afford it without first loosing their lives. More so agriculture is one way to provide jobs for the masses. The processing of products from agriculture would certainly provide more jobs and in this way more people would have more value for their lives. With this I say we should concentrate more on our basic needs as Nigeria is still a fledgling.

  2. As long as we continue to avoid facing the real causes of all our problems we would continue face unlimited social problems like armed robbery, vandalisation of oil pipelines, prostitution, yahoo deals, militancy, hostage taking, corruption, 419 scams, vote rigging, privatisation riging e.t.c When you tell most members of the elite class that poverty is the cause of all our problems including the much talked about corruption they would not agreee. ? The reason why they do not want to agree is because they are reluctant to do anything about poverty!!! They want to keep the status quo of few of them having everything and most of us having nothing!!! The question I always ask is this – Why is it that 30 to 35 years ago when our fathers wer still in the civil service they lived strictly within their means, sent all their children to university without stealing a kobo of government money? Buy cars and build houses via government loans instead of fast deals or outright stealing!! To me the answer is simple- The incomes in those days was commensurate with the cost of living and only the greedy had the cause to commit any crimes! But as the cost of living increased year in year out, our governments over the years failed to put in place measures that would enable the legitimate earnings of the the people, to keep pace with the rising cost of living. Whilst the rate of inflation went into the range of triple digits the earnings of a vast majority of Nigerians remained static and most peple even lost their jobs!! It is not therefore coincidental that the rate of crimes and anti soicial acts like puncturing piplelines e.t.c increased tremendously around this same time that cost of living was skyrocketing and the pays stayed static! As a lawyer called to the bar 20 years ago the entire fees I had to pay (minus feeding and housing) at the Nigerian Law School was N600 ( I still have the receipt) but today the law school students are asked to poay N220,000!!! Twenty years ago my father as a top civil servant earned a salary of about N1,500 per month so he could conviniently pay my law school fees from his one month salary. Has anything improved so much in the pay structure 20 years later to enable even the most well paid of workers to simply pay N220,000 from their one month salary for law school fees?? Yet we say there should be no corruption or crime!!! Is there any social programmes to aid the unemployed, the aged, the infirm? Yet we expect such people (who are millions in number)not to just sit down and die from want, without finding a way out of their situation?? In this regard we need leadersip from the Government, yes corrpution too has a bearing on poverty and it needs to be tackled but in the same vein we can also immediqately begin to implement practical poverty reduction measures. We do not know how long it would take the government to win the war against corruption, so we cannot wait for that war to end before the war against poverty can begin. And the more you leave poverty untackled everyday you create new recruits on the side of the army of corrutpoion leaving the anti corruption warriors with an endless exercise on their hands!!

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