Barely a week after a gas explosion in Baruwa, Iyana Ipaja area of Lagos state that claimed no fewer than five lives, razed 25 buildings, 16 shops, and a private school building, another plant is currently being sited along the ever-busy Demurin/Alapere road, Ketu, part of Lagos.
A non-political, non-governmental organization in the state, the Social and Economic Justice Advocacy (SEJA), has alerted the nation of a possible explosion in Alapere Ketu, area of Lagos state.
Speaking through a statement signed by Barrister Stanley Karo Emeluaha, the Group’s Executive Director (Legal) and made available to journalists in Lagos, SEJA described the gas plant located in a densely populated residential area as a disaster waiting to happen and wondered why any responsible and responsive government should allow such a development in the face of previous experiences in the state and the nation at large.
The details of the statement as issued by SEJA among other concerns noted that while the state is still mourning the huge human and material carnage in Baruwa, it is important to draw the attention of all men and women of goodwill, Kosefe local government area, Lagos state government and the federal government to the fact that another gas plant is currently being built along the ever-busy Demurin/Alapere road, Ketu, part of Lagos.
The construction of the gas station, aside enunciating the insensitivity and regulatory gaps, the group said it further paints a picture of a people that are not ready to draw a lesson from previous experiences, noting that there are key signals that point to a grim reality.
“Allowing a gas plant in a densely populated residential area such as the Demurin/Ketu axis is another time bomb waiting to explode,” the organisation said in the statement.
It was stated that very fundamental is the awareness that the plant shares a common fence with Globacom customer centre, reputed for not being customer free and a welding and fabrication company with high-pressure equipment.
This is in addition to the fact that just a stone throw from the plant is a 330KVA national grid line as well as a place of worship, Saint Michael Catholic Church, located around the new gas plant. It was gathered that the church is arguably the biggest in Ketu with over 6000 worshippers, who gain entrance to the church via the bus stop where this gas plant is located.
“As a people, we must also not fail to remember the March 2020 incident where about 23 people were killed and more than 50 houses destroyed at a massive explosion in the Abule Ado area of Lagos State,” SEJA said.
Among those who lost their lives in the avoidable incident were a family of four and Henrietta Alokha, an administrator at Bethlehem Girls High School, a Catholic-owned school where at least 60 students sustained injuries from the incident.
The group stressed that while it is imperative at this point to acknowledge that provision of security, the pursuit of the economic welfare of citizens and improving the life chances of the people are the constitutional responsibilities of the state which all leaders must achieve, every leader is expected to proactively perform this role at the most fundamental level.
“Against this backdrop, it becomes expedient that the Babajide Sanwoolu led administration in Lagos, and the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPP) prove themselves both responsive and responsible by their swift intervention.
“Lagos can certainly not afford another needless human and material carnage arising from gas plant explosion,” SEJA said.
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