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Pipeline fire: Only pro-people policies can end tragedies –AC

Posted by By Sun News Publishing on 2007/12/29 | Views: 476 |

Pipeline fire: Only pro-people policies can end tragedies –AC


The Action Congress (AC) has blamed the incessant fuel pipeline fires across the country on widespread poverty and the loss of basic values, while calling on the Federal Government to evolve policies that will give the citizenry hope and prevent them from engaging in such suicide mission as scooping fuel from a damaged pipeline.

The Action Congress (AC) has blamed the incessant fuel pipeline fires across the country on widespread poverty and the loss of basic values, while calling on the Federal Government to evolve policies that will give the citizenry hope and prevent them from engaging in such suicide mission as scooping fuel from a damaged pipeline.

In a statement issued in Abuja on Thursday by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party expressed sympathy with the families of the victims, many of whom are said to be women and children, as well as the entire nation for the needless loss of precious lives.
AC said it is high time the Federal Government got to the root cause of why people have become so desperate that they will willingly commit suicide, which is what scooping the highly inflammable fuel amounts to.

"We must say, unequivocally, that nothing, absolutely nothing, justifies the recurring, wilful damaging of fuel pipelines by vandals for whatever reason. This is totally unacceptable.
"But we must also point that such despicable acts were rare in the country in the past. The question then is: What has driven our people to such a point that they will go like sheep to the slaughter, in the name of scooping fuel anytime they get news of a damaged fuel pipeline?
"The answer is simple: People have been driven into a state of hopelessness by the anti-people policies of the government, especially the immediate past administration of former President Olusegun Obasanjo,’’ AC said.

The party noted that in 2006, two major fuel pipeline fires claimed over 300 lives in Lagos alone, while several thousand others have been incinerated across the country, including the 1998 tragedy at Jesse village which claimed over 1,000 lives.

"After the last tragedy at Abule Egba last year, we warned that the scale of the incessant tragedies had reached a level where the government has to go beyond issuing empty threats to fashioning out policies that
will bring people back from the abyss of poverty and the brink of hopelessness.
"No amount of security cordon can protect all the thousands of kilometres of fuel/oil pipeline
criss-crossing the country. Even some unscrupulous security and NNPC officials are part of the pipeline
breaking/fuel scooping racket. The only antidote, therefore, is make life worth living for Nigerians
once again.

"It is futile reading the riot act to a hungry man, who will rather choose the Devil’s Alternative of
dying in an inferno instead of slowly dying of hunger. And if a man is no longer afraid to lose his life,
then something has snapped in him!’’ AC said.

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