A group, the Abule – Ado Stakeholders for Justice has expressed its displeasure over the attitude of the President Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government to the unfortunate incident of explosion which happened in Abule Ado, Amuwo Odofin Local Government Area of Lagos State last Sunday.
The group, speaking at a world press conference midweek, therefore called on President Muhammadu Buhari to, as a matter of urgency and natiinal interest, pay a visit to the site of the explosion for an on-the-spot assessment.
At the world press conference, which held at the Abule – Ado Explosion site in Lagos, the Coordinating Chairman, Abule -Ado Stakeholders for Justice, AASJ, Aare Oladotun Hassan, said, “Apart from a press statement, we are aggrieved that President Muhammadu Buhari has not deem it fit to visit the Abule-Ado community, despite the magnitude of the tragedy. We are aghast that President Buhari prefer to view images of the explosion as shown to him by Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State, rather than coming in person to view for himself the scene of the explosion.”
Demanding an immediate forensic investigation of the remote cause of the blast, ancillary facts about the pre-blast and post trauma management of the victims, Aare Hassan said, “We are drawn aback to doubt the media reports of NEMA and NNPC on the causation of the inferno tagged to a gas plant explosion, but we cannot phantom the magnitude of wrecks compared to an ordinary gas pipeline vandalism explosion. Precipitating the urgent demand from the office of the National Security Adviser to the President to swing into action by conducting a thorough review analysis and remote cause of the blast, considering the recent daring threats of terrorist attacks on Lagos suburb after the launch of Amotekun Security Initiatives, hence we cannot to totally write off the link of terrorism clandestine motivated attack on Abule Ado on 13th March, 2020.
“However, we equally demand that adequate cordoning of the entire area is carried out in order to forestall the evacuation of relevant information and material evidences connected to the heinous crime.
“We are in the era of terrorism and herdsmen threats, therefore, we shall appreciate holistic investigation which will proffer both short and long term panacea to act of incessant explosions and criminal activities around pipeline corridors in Abule-Ado and by extension, Lagos State.
“We are amazed by the media reports credited to the Federal Housing Authority, FHA, that the landed properties at the explosion site belongs to the Authority. We call on the President Buhari-led Federal Government of Nigeria to caution the FHA from making such statements to people who are aggrieved victims.
“The Federal Government of Nigeria should focus on rehabilitation of the victims through resettlement schemes.”
Saying that it is not unaware of the constitution of an investigative committee set up by the governor of Lagos State, Mr. Sanwo-Olu, headed by the Deputy Governor, Obafemi Hamzat, the stakeholders called on rye Hamzat-led committee to hold public hearings to avail members of the public, victims of the tragedy and civil society representatives to make representations before the panel.
It also added that the public hearing must be held within the precinct of the blast, preferably at the Abule-Ado Palace, in order to avoid impostors and intruders from hijacking the process.
They added, “We aware of two nominations of the host community into the Hamzat-led Committee. We call on the committee to open discussions with us for our incorporation into the committee accordingly.”
The group also said that it was aware of the N2.5 billion Emergency Relief Fund initiated by Governor Sanwo-Olu and the release of N250 million by Lagos State Government into the Emergency Relief Fund, adding, “We also aware of the appeals by the Lagos State Government for contributions into the fund by well-meaning corporate and individual citizens.
“We call for accountability of the Emergency Relief Fund to the community of Abule-Ado. We call for a democratic Emergency Relief Fund Committee
made up of representatives of the community.”