The Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria (ERA/FoEN) has called on the federal government to carry out a forensic investigation on the explosion that rocked Lagos on Sunday. Scores were killed and more than 50 houses destroyed in the explosion.
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) had said the explosion happened when gas cylinders were hit by a truck in the area where NNPC has its pipelines. But Akinbode Oluwafemi, ERA/FoEN deputy executive director, said the explosion could be likened to some military aerial bombardment and does not sound like pipeline explosion.
“There is something suspiciously different about this explosion. The scale of destruction is nothing like any of the pipeline explosions we have monitored and documented for several decades,” the statement read.
“The Sunday incident’s scale of destruction could only be likened to military grade explosions or aerial bombardment. We can’t treat this casually as an accident caused by a truck. “With the current security without conducting forensic investigation on this particular blast. Not even the accidental detonation of bombs at the Ikeja cantonment caused this scale of destruction and ruins. Government must conduct comprehensive investigation to establish if this was a crime or an accident.
And there are questions begging for answers: Who drove the truck? What is the truck doing on a pipeline on Sunday morning? Was the gas plant opened on a Sunday? Was the content of the truck weaponized? And for the NNPC that has admitted some level of culpability by confirming that the primary explosion came from its gas truck, it should immediately initiate the process of providing remediation for the affected families and businesses while its officials found to have through negligence orchestrated this massive destruction should be made to face the law.
The group asked the federal government not to conclude that the incident was an accident, adding that the accounts of the NNPC on the real cause of the blast is “unconvincing and raises some questions.”