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Another pipeline explosion imminent at Ikorodu, Lagos

Posted by By Jossy Idam on 2008/08/05 | Views: 2575 |

Another pipeline explosion imminent at Ikorodu, Lagos

Unless the authorities wade in fast, the country may wake up soon to witness another pipeline explosion and lost of lives and properties.

Unless the authorities wade in fast, the country may wake up soon to witness another pipeline explosion and lost of lives and properties.

As it often happens, a deafening bang and roaring, leaping flames would consume lives and properties, and leave the country heart-broken.

Abule Oba, a suburb in Ikorodu, Lagos in an accident waiting to happen. At first, the place is deceptively quite and serene. But beneath the veneer is a thriving bunkering business.
For months now, the suburb has witnessed an upsurge of settlers, businessmen and visitors. Behind the upsurge is a triving illegal bunkering business in the area.

The epic centre of the illegal business is a seemingly rural, sleepy settlement in the outskirts of the town.

Cheap and lucrative
In the enclave that is closely guarded by a motley of security details, fifty litre jerrycans of fuel goes for N2,000. But if the dealer brings it closer to the main road Agric bus stop, a buyer would have to pay N2,500. If the buyer "negotiates and lifts on the spot" he pays about N2,000.

Dirt track
To get to the place, a buyer has to be tough and ready to hop on bike and traverse an untarred, rough road. The so-called road is punctuated by bumpy pot-holes, gullies and wild rushing rivulets. Sunday Sun had to wade through bad spots on the road and broken bridges to get to the place.

The place
The place is a never-never land. It is located some where in the rushing, small river in the area. The prospectors set out in the evening and return in the early hours with the black-gold. Before they set out, buyers "place orders." They specify the quantity they want and even pay before delivery.

Middle men
A buyer needs to berth at Agric bus stop, take a bike to Oke Oko. Next, hop on another bike to Abule Oba, take a long walk to the small, fast flowing river and "do the deal." If a buyer could trekk to the place clearly demarcated by the river, and wooden pedestrian bridge, he could strike a bargain.

For starters, Sunday Sun reporter booked for fifty litres last Friday and got a deluge of calls, wanting him to come and take instant, raw delivery of his "consignment."
The normal cost of fifty litres fuel in filling stations is N3,500. The dealers maximize on the huge volumes ordered by consumers or middle men, who often come with tankers and numerous jerry cans.

On the brink
The deal is often signed and sealed on the banks of the river. A lot of innocent residents of the area carry on un-mindful of the looming danger. Farming and fishing activities belie the lucrative, illegal bankering business in the place.

Police connection
As usual, the police authorities would fern ignorance of the place, but Sunday Sun investigations reveal that the police is a part of the deal. As an operator who wants anonymity said, "the police love the place. When they come, we give them fuel. Every body is happy and no wahala."

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