Destruction, not something anyone could imagine

By Johnbosco Agbakwuru

Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos state yesterday briefed President Muhammadu Buhari on the unfortunate Abule Ado explosion that claimed the lives of about 20 persons and several properties destroyed.

The Governor’s meeting with President Buhari was shortly after the Progressives Governors Forum, PGF, met the President on the crisis rocking the party at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

Speaking with State House correspondents, Governor Sanwo-Olu said that the explosion and its attendant destruction was not anyone could have imagined

According to him, “I had a very rear opportunity to brief Mr President about the very unfortunate gas/pipeline explosion in Lagos State yesterday.

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“Mr President was very gracious to receive me and to ask me about where we are and what had happened. I was able to show him pictorially the extent and the level of destruction of what happened yesterday (Sunday). It is a very unfortunate incident, is not something that anyone could have imagined, you needed to be there to see the level of destruction.”

He described as speculative reports that the community was close to pipeline and that a gas plant was also situated in the affected community.

He said, “That is being speculative and that is what the committee set will find out. The experts are doing it and they will give us the full report in less than two weeks.

“There is a pipeline right of way and it was not the state government that gave that, it has been in existence since. So the issues around the fact that there were commercial gas cylinders around the vicinity are all still very speculative.

” The experts will be able to tell as what led to this incident and the lessons we all need to take away from it.”

The Lagos State Governor said that President Buhari was interested and looking forward to the outcome of the committee‘s work set up by Lagos State government.

He stated that there had never been such level of destruction before in Lagos State, adding that the catastrophe led to setting up of the high-level committee.

He explained that one of the things that will be done will be to build more roads that will bypass the pipeline right of way.

The governor said going forward the administration will be firm adding: “We will be fair but we will also be firm. What is popular might not be what is right but we will do the right thing. That is what I can assure you.”

On checking uncontrolled building and development henceforth, the governor said in less than a year over 20 buildings have been demolished and that will continue.

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“We have also marked for demolition quite a number. I will be the first to admit that given the size of the city, maybe we don’t have enough development control to manage the growth of the city.

“It is the same way we cannot control the population explosion in the country. We cannot put a border post in the city and say people cannot come in but we have been a bit proactive to ensure our building control process is a lot more transparent and quick.

“We will have them online so that people will not have to come to the government. But we will continue to appeal to our people to do the right thing. You cannot just come in and begin to build just because someone has given you an allocation.

“That is why I said our decision is not going to be popular but we are going to be firm in the sense that you are still going to see a lot of sanctions going forward.”

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