Emmanuel Adeyemi, Lokoja
The Nigerian Gas Company has warned some communities living around gas pipelines in Kogi State to exhibit serious caution to protect the pipelines from damage and vandalism.
The warning is coming on the heels of the sensitisation campaign against gas pipeline encroachment and vandalism in Ajaokuta Local Goverment Area of Kogi State.
The enlightenment campaign which took off from the palace of the Ohi of Eganyi kingdom included a road show where the people around the community were sensitised on the dangers involved in the encroachment of gas pipelines.
Addressing the crowd at the palace of the Eganyi, the Managing Director, NGC, Warri, Delta State, Engr. Seyi Omotowa, who was represented by the Public Affairs Manager, Mr Darlington Samuel, warned that encroachment of gas pipelines can result in loss of life and property.
He noted that encroachment of gas pipelines was not only dangerous but also a crime punishable by the laws of the land.
He advised those farming and building houses on the gas pipeline right of way to desist, as it could lead to disaster.
In his words: ‘We are here to inform and enlighten the people of Ajaokuta about the dangers involved in encroaching on gas pipelines right of way.
‘We want to ensure that our property and your property is secured. We also want to ensure that your lives are not put in danger.
‘We all know that this is a Federal Government project and this is why we have come to tell these communities that little action and inaction can lead to disaster and loss of lives.
‘If there is a little gas leak in any of the gas pipelines and we have a little spark of fire around that area, the whole place will be on fire. This is what we are trying to avoid.’
The Ohi of Eganyi and Chairman, Traditional Council of Ajaokuta, Alhaji Musa Idaho Achuja, commended the NGC for the enlightenment campaign, saying that it was a good thing that NGC has taken the pains to come to enlighten the community.
He said: ‘I want to use this opportunity to thank the Federal Government, especially the Nigerian Gas Company because the NGC is one of the government companies that we have benefitted from greatly.
‘We are happy with the sensitisation campaign that they (NGC) have brought to this community and we on our part will make sure that we carry this campaign to all our communities.’
The monarch advised his subjects to take the sensitisation campaign seriously, adding that the federal government does not want anybody to die because of the project they have here.
The Youth President of Ajaokuta, Comrade Shaibu Ayimi commended the NGC for taking out time to explain to the people on the need for them not to encroach on gas pipeline right of way.
He promised to carry the enlightenment campaign to all the nooks and crannies of Ajaokuta.
‘I want to thank the NGC for this enlightenment campaign, because most of our people live in rural communities and they don’t know that farming and building on gas pipeline right of way is very dangerous.’
The campaign train later moved on to Ohunene community, where the message was relayed to the people in their dialect.