THE House of Representatives yesterday opened debate on the fuel tanker fire tragedy that claimed over 100 lives in Okogbe, Rivers State and concluded that the bad condition of the East-West Road was responsible for the accident.
Adopting a motion sponsored by Asita Honourable (PDP, Rivers State), the House, among others, directed its Committee on Niger Delta Affairs: “To investigate issues of the dualisation of the East-West road in the five different sections particularly Section I1 Sub-Section I (Port Harcourt-Ahoada) and Section I1 Sub-Section I1 (Ahoada-Kaiama) projects after huge sum of money had been paid by the Federal Government as mobilisation fees without commensurate result and report back to the House within 21 days (3 weeks).”
Other prayers of the motion adopted include:
• That the House commiserates with the families of the victims of the fire disaster, especially the Okogbe community, the Ahoada-West Local Council Area and Rivers State government;
• That the House urges the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and other health agencies to ensure that adequate and effective medical attention and relief materials are provided for the survivors and families of the victims;
• That the House urges the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) to take urgent steps to remove all abandoned accident vehicles on the East-West road and other federal roads across the country.”
Defending his motion, Asita said it was sad that “the dilapidated condition of the East-West road has resulted in many tragic accidents that had claimed thousands of lives.”
“One is further disturbed that on July 12, 2012, no fewer than 150 Nigerians lost their lives in a petrol tanker fire at Okogbe, a village along the East-West road in Ahoada-West Local Council Area of Rivers State. The petrol tanker driver in trying to avoid a head-on collision with other on-coming vehicles, veered off the potholes ridden road.
“It is worrisome that this road project has been in endless construction by the Federal Government and that this tragedy would not have occurred if the road was in good condition.”
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