The Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC) deeply commiserates with the families of those who lost their lives and property in the gas explosion that occurred at the Abule-Ado area of Amuwo Odofin Local Government Area of Lagos State, last Sunday.
The workers’ body also charges the Lagos State Government and all concerned to carry out a thorough investigation and do all possible to forestall a future occurrence.
In a statement by its President, Comrade Quadri Olaleye, FCIA and Secretary General, Comrade Musa-Lawal Ozigi, lamented that the incident was avoidable if every necessary step was taken, adding that the pipeline had been there before the buildings were erected yet someone went ahead to approve the building plans. “Another danger waiting to happen is those houses built under the heavy high tension wires. That is another time bomb if not checked.”
Comrade Olaleye expressed worry that pipelines and gas plants explosions in Lagos State are becoming too frequent. He said that it may not be unconnected with the activities of bunkerers whose aim is to make money no matter what the consequences of their action bring to others. They just care less. This is exactly why government at all levels should make frantic effort to create jobs.
“The over 85 percent of these kind of accidents are preventable if only safety standard are observed. At every opportunity including this one people take advantage of the system. The contractors and materials that would be used for the repairs of the pipelines that are affected have to be closely monitored to ensure substandard materials are not used. It is also a contributory factor.”
And as for the Principal of Bethlehem Girls College, Rev. Sr. Henrietta Alokha, who lost her life while attempting to rescue the pupils, the TUC leadership described that as a huge sacrifice.
“It is possible she could have escaped but she thought of the children in her CARE and decided to assist. Our leaders at all levels must emulate the feat of the deceased. Leadership is a call to service and not for personal aggrandizement.”
The Congress called on all stakeholders to avoid the blame game and take all necessary measures to protect pipelines according to the laws guiding it.
“We cannot afford to be playing politics with everything while Nigerians are dying. Government must ensure forthwith that there has to be proper town planning and space gaps between residents and such facilities strictly respected,” he emphasized.