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Lokoja tanker explosion: PDP blames FG, Kogi for poor response

The Senate President, Ahmed Lawan, and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) have expressed sadness over the Wednesday petrol tanker explosion in Lokoja, Kogi State capital, which claimed many lives.

The PDP in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, on Thursday said it was extremely distressed by the horrid and traumatizing accident, whose victims included a whole family and pupils.

Lamenting that the fire raged without any intervention from authorities, which would have helped mitigate the effect, the opposition party blamed the Federal and Kogi State Governments for poor response to emergencies.

The party said, “Indeed, the absence of fire and other emergency facilities around the area, despite the frequent occurrence of such accidents in the past signposts the failure and insensitivity of both the Federal and Kogi state governments towards the dangers that daily confront the people.

“Also, the major theatre of medical intervention in the state, the Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Lokoja, had been under locks over a needless controversy on COVID-19.

“The recklessness of the state government has also increased the fatalities of the number of victims affected in the ugly incident.”

The PDP also criticised the Kogi Deputy Governor, Edward Onoja, who it said gave lame excuses when he visited the scene of the accident instead of assuring of a definite step to safeguard the lives of the people in the area.

The party demanded the federal government to put instant traffic measures to forestall such accidents and immediately establish emergency facilities in the area.

It also called on President Muhammadu Buhari and the Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fasola (SAN), to immediately visit the area as well as undertake a tour of the highways to witness the sorry state of infrastructure across the country, under their administration.

The party added, “Indeed, the PDP mourns. Our thoughts and prayers go to the families of the victims of this accident as well as others who have perished in various road accidents due to the horrible state of our roads.

“The PDP commiserates with the families of the victims, the Kogi State Polytechnic, parents of the school children as well as the entire people of Kogi state.”

Lawan in a message by its Special Adviser (Media), Ola Awoniyi, said it was sad and totally unacceptable that tragedy kept recurring on Nigeria’s roads despite ample road safety regulations and enforcement personnel.

“While we mourn those who have so unfortunately lost their lives and pray for the speedy recovery of those who are injured, the incident underscores the need for constant review of our road safety strategy and mechanism with a view to making them more effective in preventing carnage on our roads.

“Significantly improving road safety in Nigeria is an urgent challenge for the relevant authorities and other stakeholders in our transport sector. We have to bring an end to the rampant carnage on our roads,” Lawan said.

The Senate President also extended his condolences to the government and people of Kogi State over the tragic incident.

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