Ikotun Residents Fret Over Exposed Vandalised Petroleum Pipeline
Eight days after commercial activities were grounded in Ikotun and environs following heavy flow of Petroleum Motor Spirit (PMS) from a vandalised pipeline into Omoboriowo Street, and Prince Adeyemi Street off Governor Road, Ikotun, residents are still in panic mode.
The residents, who were forced indoors last week, to avoid fire outbreak, said the vandalised site has remained uncovered.
They were worried that government has not dealt decisively with activities of vandals and miscreants, who siphon petroleum products from the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) pipeline.
According to them, pipeline vandalism has become a ticking time bomb and a recurrent issue not only at Omoboriowo, but in other nearby streets such as Governor Road, Odo and Sawmill.
The residents said their experiences were better imagined than experienced because both the young and old were in perpetual panic, until responders were able to clean up the place.
Those who spoke with The Guardian, said since officials of the NNPC Maintenance crew fixed the affected sites on Friday the entire drainage was still filled with PMS, while trees around the site have dried up.
According to them, they hardly sleep with two eyes closed since they do not know the hour vandals would strike, adding that no week passes without vandals coming to suck petroleum product.
From all indications, they know the day the fuel product would be pumped to the Ejigbo petroleum depot, on such days, they would definitely operate, a middle aged man who lives around the area but would not want his name in print, said.
A representative of Anuoluwapo Community Development Association (CDA), Adekunle Olayemi, lamented the rate at which the crime is being committed, adding, “It’s not a crime that can be perpetrated by a layman.”
Olayemi noted that it’s not all the time oil passes through the pipe, but it’s surprising that vandals invade the pipe whenever oil is being pumped from the petroleum industry.
“There are certain times oil flows through the pipe in which no one would know except for the insiders. So it’s either the workers carry out the crimes independently or they inform the vandals when it’s time to pump oil”, he said.
According to him, the oil spill this time around was very frightening because its fumes were everywhere, making some residents run from the area.