Port Harcourt — The Egbema Voice of Freedom has charged the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, to replicate his magnanimity of N200 cash donations made to families of Kaduna train attack victims, to families affected by the Abaezi-Abacheke illegal refinery fire explosion.
Recall that over 150 people, including children were charred last weekend at an artisanal refining site in Abaezi-Abacheke community in Egbema, a boundary town between Rivers and Imo State.
Among those who died in the tragedy were the illegal bunkering and refining operators, buyers of their products, transporters and villagers who mill around to provide catering services.
Speaking, the Coordinator of Egbema Voice of Freedom, Pastor Evaristus Nicholas, expressed displeasure over failure of the Rivers State government to commiserate with Rivers communities and indigenes affected by the explosion in Egbema.
Nicholas, while on a tour to the three affected communities of Mgbede, Aggah, and Okwuzi in Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni LGA of Rivers State, disclosed that over 30 people from ONELGA communities died in the fire incident.
“Again, we want to ask why the state government, even the local government denied the fact that the people from Aggah, Mgbede, and Okwuzi communities are not part of this disaster as it were.
“We are saying that the Federal Government should condole with Rivers people and Governor Wike should know that Rivers indigenes are affected.
“We heard on the news yesterday that he (Governor Wike)donated N200 million to Kaduna State, let him also extend that magnanimity to families of victims affected by the fire that are from Rivers State.”
The rights activist wondered why oil operators absolved themselves from the incident, pointedly blamed the increasing cases of illegal oil bunkering and refinning activities on unemployment and poverty.
“If the government had created jobs, I do not see why people will come into this thick forest to indulge in this type of business. We are saying that time has come for the federal government to make laws that will force the International oil companies to do the right thing,” he added.
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