A petrol pipeline at Ijeododo community in Lagos, which had been left exposed to the surface for over six years with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and the Lagos State Government looking on, has finally burst, endangering the lives and property of thousands in the community.
Stretching through Ijeododo Community to Abule Ado from Ejigbo, Ikotun and Ijegun, the pipeline has been exposed to the surface from Fire Junction to Ijeododo Road.
While it is not clear whether the pipe was vandalised, a resident who requested anonymity told FIJ that the unpaved road where the exposed pipe lays is busy, with motorists who have no motorable alternative riding over the pipe and weakening it over time. When it rains, the solid on the pipe washes off.
The pipeline burst on Saturday and fuel was gushing out,” the resident told FIJ. “Security agents have surrounded the area and have stopped vehicular movement there but the fuel is still gushing out.”
“The issues are numerous,” the resident added.
“The road linking Ijegun to Abule Ado axis to Badagry Expressway and Festac; it came to our notice that it had been awarded to a company for construction but work suddenly stopped. Some people did not want the road constructed because their houses would be demolished.”
Continuing, he said: “When the road, which is a federal road, is fixed, the exposed petrol pipe would be covered.
“But both the federal and state governments lack the political will to do what is needed to secure peoples’ lives and prevent an impending disaster.”
FIJ was told that the NNPC’s visits to the area has neither resulted in the construction of the road nor the covering of the pipeline.
“They have come many many times. They will mark a setback, leaving the pipe exposed. I am sure that they are aware that it is exposed,” the resident said.
The area where the pipe burst has been cordoned off by a team of the police and the military, making residents take longer routes to access their homes.
For some people at Ijeododo Community, the longer the pipeline remains exposed, the more the likelihood that they would suffer the pipeline explosion that occured at Abule Ado last year, killing 23 people and destroying over 50 houses.
Phone calls to the NNPC did not connect and FIJ was yet to get a reply to its message to the Corporation as of the time of filing this report.
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