Noah Ebije Sola Balogun, Kaduna and Gyang Bere, Jos
Kaduna governor, Governor Nasiru El-Rufai, yesterday, ordered the closure of all gas refill stations located within residential areas in the state.
The governor appealed to residents to report gas outlets sited in residential areas to Kaduna Environmental Protection Agency (KASUPDA)for immediate action.
A gas refilling shop at a densely populated Sabo community in Chikun Local Government Area burst into flames last Saturday killing Prof. Mallam, and four others, while also destroying four shops.
El-Rufai, who visited the scene, said gas refill stations should relocate to industrial layouts.
“It is most unfortunate that this incident has happened. It is further proof and evidence that this is a high-risk activity that should not be allowed to be located in residential areas.
“We will relocate them, we will give them land in industrial areas where adequate precautions to prevent things like this will be put in place.
“But for now, we have to get all these gas refilling plants within the metropolis and towns relocated. We are mapping all of them. For now, they are shut down,” he stressed.
The state Police Command has released details of the victims.
The casualities, acording to a statement by the spokesman, DSP Yakubu Sabo are Chairman, Nigeria Atomic Energy Commission, Prof. Mallam Simon, Wale Ajayi, Daniel Peter, Victor Asoegwu and Micheal Ernest.
“Properties valued at N16.402million were lost in the four shops affected by the fire,” Said said.
Meanwhile, Northern Governors Forum has expressed deep shock over the death of the Chairman, Nigeria Atomic Energy Commission, Prof. Simon Mallam, his son, and three others at Sabon, Kaduna State.
A condolence message signed by Plateau Governor and Chairman of the Forum, Solomon Lalong, described the incident as extremely unfortunate and painful.
Lalong described the loss of Prof. Mallam as a major setback to Nigeria’s quest for energy sufficiency given his vast knowledge and experience which he had been deploying as boss of the Atomic Energy Commission.
“This is a huge loss to the entire people of the northern region, the immediate family of the deceased and Nigeria as we have lost one of our brightest minds who has contributed enormously to the development of our people. “We send our heartfelt condolences to the family of the deceased and pray God to grant their souls eternal rest as well as give the family the strength to be comforted,” Lalong said.
The Forum, therefore, called for stringent supervision of gas handling in Nigeria so as to tackle incessant cases of accidents.