Mr Gani Adams, the factional leader of Oodua People’s Congress (OPC), on Friday sympathised with the Arepo Community and Nigerians over the Wednesday’s pipelines explosion that killed more than 100 people.
This is contained in a statement issued by Mr Yinka Oguntimehin, the OPC Director of Media and Publicity in Lagos.
According to the statement, the loss of lives is indeed very sad and for us, this is yet another national disaster to befall our nation.
It said that in the last one month, similar deaths were recorded in Ikorodu and Ijedodo areas of Lagos, with another recorded in Bayelsa due to the activities of pipelines vandals.
“It must be noted that activities of the vandals were permanently controlled for the period of three months that our men protected the pipelines.
“It is, no doubt, regrettable that in a little more than one month after our men quit the job, more than 200 deaths have been recorded as a result of the activities of pipelines vandals.
“While some people condemned our men and called us names, it is on record that nothing of this magnitude happened during the period of the three months that our operatives secured the pipelines.
“Of particular interest was the comment of the spokesperson of the Lagos chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr Joe Igbokwe, in which he referred to our members as hoodlums and outlaws.
“The lesson to be learnt in the latest incident by Nigerians and our government is that government should encourage Nigerians with good ideas to be part of governance.
“All over the world, citizens are encouraged to be partners in progress with the government to move the country forward,’’ the statement said.
It added that this was what the congress tried to represent by presenting itself as partner in progress with the government.
The statement recalled that while OPC men worked at the site of the pipeline in Arepo, the people of the community had a sense of safety.
It said: “All that sense of safety was gone with the wind once again with the return of the vandals.
“While security operatives can work to protect the pipelines, the issue of pipeline protection is much more complex than mere protecting the pipelines.
“It involves intelligence gathering, which ultimately should involve the people and this was the strategy that we employed during our time protecting the pipelines.
“The result of that strategy was our ability to curtail the activities of the vandals.
“Unfortunately, because we have placed politics above matters of national importance, the vandals have resumed their nefarious activities, killing and maiming our people’’