JOHN ADAMS, Minna
Following Friday night’s fuel tanker explosion at Dikko Junction along Kaduna-Abuja highway in Niger State, the state governor, Abubakar, Sani Bello, has ordered the immediate closure of all illegal motor parks along major highways in the state.
The governor also directed that the law prohibiting the indiscriminate parking of trailers and tankers along major highways across the state must be enforced henceforth to reduce carnage on the highways.
The governor gave the marching order to relevant authorities in Minna on Sunday while commiserating with victims of the disaster.
A tanker loaded with over 40,000 litres of fuel lost control, fell and exploded at the crowded Dikko junction in the state, along the ever- busy Abuja-Kaduna highway, leaving three persons dead, 19 others injured, 19 cars and over 35 shops razed by fire.
The governor, who described the incident as unfortunate, said it was heart-breaking to see the lives of innocent people lost as a result of the recklessness of an individual.
The pointed out that the government could not fold it hands and see innocent lives being lost to what he called “illegal and irresponsible activities of some individuals,” warning that the state governorship would no longer condone the activities of tanker and trailer drivers who park illegally by the roadside.
“It is quite unfortunate that the accident happened. As a government, we are pained to see the lives of our people being cut short, especially as a result of the recklessness of some drivers,” the governor said.
“We will enforce all necessary laws with regard to illegal motor parks and other activities on the highways. I have, therefore, directed that the illegal park where the accident took place and other illegal motor parks and markets in the state be cleared off immediately. We would ensure that our laws are enforced to the latter.”
Governor Bello, therefore, directed the State Emergency Management Agency (NSEMA) to assess the accident with a view to ascertaining the level of damages done and possibly compensate the victims.
Meanwhile the Director-General of NSEMA, Mr Ibrahim Inga, has led the officials of the agency to the scene of the accident where he assured that financial assistance would be provided to the victims who sustained one injury or the other to enable them undergo treatment, as an immediate intervention by the state government.
He said the agency would also compile its report and submit to the governor for further action.
Also, at the scene of the accident was the Secretary to the State Government, Mallam Ahmed Matane, and the Speaker of the state Assembly, Rt Hon. Abdullahi Bawa Wuse.