The Lagos State House of Assembly on Monday passed a resolution, urging Nigerian National Petroleum Cooperation (NNPC) and Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu to protect pipelines in order to curtail vandalism and hazards.
The resolution followed a petition addressed to the Speaker of the House, Mr Mudashiru Obasa, and read by the Clerk of the House, Mr Azeez Sanni, during plenary.
Newsmen report that scores of protesters from Ijegun in Igando-Ikotun Local Council Development Area (LCDA) Alimosho had earlier in the day stormed the House over a pipeline explosion on July 4.
The protesters among other things also demanded compensation for victims of the recent fire disaster occasioned by activities of pipeline vandals, restriction of tankers, stoppage of approvals for filling stations/gas plants in Ijegun environs.
Mr Rotimi Olowo (APC-Somolu I) who earlier in the day addressed the protesters and received their petition letter on behalf of the Speaker, said that bunkering activity had become a big business in the area.
“This latest pipeline explosion is one too many, Mr Speaker, that particular community has suffered too long as regards vandalism and destruction of lives and property.
“When you talk about bunkering, it is a big business backed by very rich people in terms of logistics and transportation. It is not what the community can withstand.
“”It is unfortunate that we are losing lives. The government should come to the aid of people who suffered losses.
“We need a patrol and station Armoured Personnel Carriers at the area,’’ he said.
He said NNPC and Lagos State government should collaborate to end the trend and help the victims of the latest victims of pipeline explosion.
Reading the resolutions of the house, Olowo said: “This House calls on the governor of Lagos state to provide and station security personnel around pipelines where the vandals usually operate.
“The government should stop tanker drivers from parking their tankers around pipelines and NNPC, as a matter of urgency, should provide barricade to protect pipelines and ward off vandals.
“That the state government should provide support for victims, especially those that lost their lives and their property as well as thorough investigations and prosecutions of vandals,” he said.
Prince Bisi Yusuff, (APC-Alimosho I) who joined Olowo to address the protesters, said the whole of Alimosho was under threat by the bunkerers.
Yusuff said pipeline vandals had ravaged Baruwa, Aboru, Abule-Egba where more than 80 persons died, saying the trend had prevented people from sleeping with their eyes closed.
The lawmaker said the negligence of NNPC was too much for not providing adequate surveillance on its pipelines.
Mr Kehinde Joseph, representing Alimosho II where the latest pipeline explosion occurred described the scene as gory, claiming that no fewer than 18 persons died while many got several degrees of injury.
Joseph, who noted that NNPC and some security agents were culpable, called for compensation for the victims and justice on the apprehended vandals.
He said the government should look into the demand of residents calling for restriction of tankers in and out of the area between 10:00 p.m and 5:00 am.
In his remark, the Speaker said: “We sincerely sympathise and share griefs of relatives of victims and we also commiserate with the people of Ijegun and the entire Alimosho.
“It is needful for the government to ensure protection of lives and property and there is need for us to call on our government to bring about security in the areas mentioned.
“We just have to do something about this; we don’t have to fold our hands.
“So, it is acceptable to me to call on the governor to provide security and also to look at some of the requests of this joint CDAs most especially coming to the aid of the victims and helping them.
“Some of them lost their houses, family, let’s see how we can be of help to these people.
“There is need to call on NNPC to protect the pipelines from the vandals,” he said.
Obasa directed the Clerk of the House, Mr Azeez Sanni, to communicate the resolution of the house to Governor Sanwo-Olu and send a copy to NNPC.