President Muhammadu Buhari has condoled with Kogi state government and the families of the victims who died in an accident involving a fuel tanker in Lokoja on Wednesday.
In a statement issued by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, the President said the death of 23 people, as confirmed by the Federal Road Safety Commission, “represents another disturbing and saddening incident in the litany of tragedies that have befallen our country.”
A petroleum tanker explosion on Wednesday in Lokoja, the Kogi state capital claimed the lives of travellers, school children, bystanders, including some students of Kogi State Polytechnic.
President Buhari said that “I am seriously worried about the frequency of these unfortunate and large scale tragedies in the country which cause needless deaths.”
According to him, “these frequent incidents that result in loss of lives and property are a national scandal caused by our indifference to safety standards.”
He explained that “many accidents are preventable if proper proactive and precautionary measures are put in place or properly observed as routine policies.”
The President regretted that “ours is a country where we move on whenever tragedies occur instead of taking preventive safety measures to forestall future calamities.”
President Buhari called on the county’s transport authorities, traffic and road management agencies as well as law enforcement officials to sit up and enforce safety standards with more seriousness, adding that “refusal to do the right thing can cause potential tragic problems that harm innocent people.”
According to him, “Nigeria is not having a shortage of laws and regulations, but our problem is lack of zeal to enforce those laws and regulations for the sake of public safety.”
Also, the Chief Executive of the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC), Barr. Babatunde Irukera has described the Lokoja accident as “another sad and painful loss”.
“This morning, we the people of Kogi experienced the gruesome and shocking loss when a fuel tanker crashed, resulted in a fire that has killed at least 23 people, including school children.
“I commiserate with the Executive Governor of Kogi State, His Excellency Yahaya Bello and the good people of Kogi. The manner of this accident and the resultant loss underscores the depth of pain associated with this accident and the sudden loss.
“I pray specifically for the families directly affected by this colossal loss and for others also affected, that these lights that have been put out will still shine through the memories of them we carry, and that in the place of these ashes, God will bring joy.”