Sympathisers wept profusely in Arepo area of Ogun State yesterday as no fewer than 110 suspected petroleum pipeline vandals were roasted to death. The incident occurred along the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) pipeline.
According to LEADERSHIP ,the vandals were scooping fuel when it ignited the fire, which raged for several hours.When this reporter visited the scene, some survivors and other people were seen trying to put out the inferno.
Some people could not identify the corpses of their family members and friends, while those who recogised their relatives moved the bodies in canoes.
The management of NNPC was said to have called the policemen attached to the Inspector General of Police Special Task Force on Anti-Pipeline Vandalism.Some policemen were stranded because of the swamp, and could not reach the scene where corpses were being removed.
One police officer said,
“The vandals attacked members of OPC. We were, however, invited by NNPC to come and secure the area while repairs will be done on the security post. People who were roasted in this inferno should be 110. The best thing to use here is helicopter because it is not motorable”.
The newly posted officer in charge of the taskforce, Valentine Olumese, a Chief Superintendent of Police (CSP) who was also at the scene, said that the police had completed plans to take over the protection of the area.
“The tent that was destroyed will be repaired and access to the scene will be created. Our men will maintain presence.”