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Ambode Vows To Halt Fuel Tanker Menace, Holds Emergency Meeting Monday

By Ayo Balogun – Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, on Saturday visited the scene of a petrol tanker explosion which razed 34 houses and 70 shops at Idimu area of Lagos, vowing to halt the menace of tankers in the State.

A tanker, loaded with 33,000 litres of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) fell on the road and spilled its contents at Idimu area of the state, bursting in flame and. Destroying. Properties worth multi-millions of naira.


Akinwunmi Ambode, Lagos state governor

Ambode promised to provide immediate succour for victims whose houses and shops were razed by the ensuing fire.

The Governor, accompanied by his Deputy, Mrs. Oluranti Adebule, went round the scene to ascertain the extent of damage just as he commiserated with traders and residents who had lost their means of livelihood and the places of abode.

Addressing journalists shortly after being conducted round the scene by emergency response officers, Governor Ambode expressed concerns over the spate of fallen petrol tankers in the state, especially with Saturday’s incident coming just few days after a similar one in Iyana Ipaja area which left several shops and vehicles destroyed in its wake.

“This is another unfortunate incident happening within one week. Unfortunate, in the sense that we are beginning to lose a lot of our assets and property to fire. I have been briefed that there were two tanker drivers actually competing on the road as at midnight including a commercial bus driver.

“As a result, the tanker driver lost control at the bend and it was 33,000litres of PMS and at a bend, in a sloppy area, you could see the contents went as far as five streets. We’ve lost close to 34 houses, 70 shops.”

Stressing that the menace posed by the recklessness of tanker drivers could no longer be tolerated, the Governor said a meeting will be convened with the union regulating the activities of the tanker drivers and other concerned bodies on Monday, just as he added that the traffic law of the state will henceforth be enforced as it concerns their operations.

“We do not want this to repeat itself again. We have said it before, we need to address our tanker drivers and start to enforce our traffic laws. I have directed that the union of tanker drivers and the government would meet on Monday morning and we must make pronouncement relating to the usage of our roads”, he said.

Moved by the pleas of some residents who lost their properties to the inferno, the Governor directed the state emergency management agency, LASEMA, to collate the names of victims so as to provide immediate relief to cushion their pain.

“I commiserate with all the people here. I appeal for calm. We would do immediate relief; we would take enumeration and see in what ways we can address your pain. We would do everything in our power to do everything to help them get back to their normal lives,” the Governor said.

Deputy Commissioner of Police, Operations, Babatunde Kokumo, pledged the support of the Police Force to address the situation.

“We want to see that‎ sanity is returned unto our road, particularly sanity among our tanker drivers, tipper drivers and generally among all users of roads in Lagos. The government is doing so much for us and we must as a matter of seriousness reciprocate all these by ensuring that we instill sanity,” he said.

Nekon Olorode, Senior Traffic Officer, Rescue Operations said “When we received the ‎distress call, we came here at about 1.00am to access the situation. We have been here since then. As soon as the governor leaves, we would take the tanker out of the road.”

The head of Operations, Lagos State Emergency Management Authority, LASEMA, Mr. Femi Giwa said two tankers were competing on the road before one of them veered off the road and collided with the road median.

“When the situation is calm and after evacuation of carcass of the burnt vehicle, we will enumerate the number of persons as well as properties affected by the explosion.” Giwa stated.




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