BLAME THE ANTI-POOR, INEFFICIENT AND IRRESPONSIBLE OGUN STATE APC GOVERNMENT LED BY PRINCE DAPO ABIODUN FOR THE PETROL TANKER EXPLOSION AT OLAMBE-MATOGUN IFO LGA
WE DEMAND ADEQUATE COMPENSATION FOR ALL VICTIMS AND IMMEDIATE PUBLIC WORKS PROGRAM TO FIX ALL ROADS AND PROVIDE OTHER BASIC AMENITIES IN OUR COMMUNITIES
The Socialist Party of Nigeria (SPN) Ifo LGA chapter puts the blame for the petrol tanker explosion that occurred at the Olambe-Matogun road in Ifo LGA on the anti-poor, inefficient, and irresponsible All Progressive Congress (APC) government headed by Dapo Abiodun which has only paid lip-service to the needs of the communities in Ifo LGA for basic infrastructural development.
On Saturday 3rd September 2022, a petrol-laden tanker conveying petroleum product to a filling station lost control and fell due to the bad road. As its contents spilled into the gutters and street, it caught fire thereby razing over ten houses and shops worth millions of naira. It took the intervention of the youth and community to put out the fire because there is no fire service station in any of the communities in Ifo LGA. In fact the nearest Ogun state fire service station is in Ota – a distance of at least 24 kilometers. As we write, although no life was lost, several families have been rendered homeless aside traders who lost their means of livelihood. We demand provision of adequate compensation to all victims and a public works programme to begin to fix all road infrastructures and provide other basic amenities in Ifo LGA.
As a party, the Socialist Party of Nigeria (SPN) sympathizes with the people of Olambe and Matogun for this disaster. However, we urge that no one believes in the crocodile tears now being shed by the Ogun State Governor Dapo Abiodun, members of his cabinet, the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC), and past governors of the state all of whom are responsible for the neglect of Olambe, Matogun and other communities in Ifo LGA.
For instance, a statement issued on Saturday 3rd September by the Ogun State Governor’s Chief Press Secretary, Kunle Somorin, described the petrol tanker explosion as an “unforeseen incident”. We beg to disagree. There was nothing unforeseen in the petrol tanker explosion in a Local government whose roads are so bad that once it rains, vehicles, okada, and pedestrians have to wade through a sea of mud and gullies. The only thing is that this time around, the incident made it to the pages of newspapers and the government was unable to ignore it as is their usual habit. For example, one of the reasons the fire spread so fast and razed so many buildings was because there was no fire service in any part of the Local Government. Residents had to fight the blaze with buckets of water!
The truth is that Olambe and Matogun and surrounding communities have been abandoned by successive Ogun state governments since 1999. Apart from the absence of fire service station, there is no functioning public hospital or primary healthcare, schools and police stations in the communities. It is the community people who contribute money to build their own hospitals and schools and also grade their roads while security is left in the hands of local vigilantes even though the police, on occasions, come into the communities to carry out raids which often times are targeted at internet fraudsters a.k.a yahoo yahoo who, of course, are cash-cows for the Nigerian police. A few years ago, the Ogun state government headed by Ibikunle Amosun began a 32-kilometre Sango-Ota/Ijoko/Olambe/Akute/Alagbole road but nearly a decade later, this road is yet to be completed. Since it came to power in 2015, the government of Prince Dapo Abiodun has not even taken a single step to complete the road project until a few weeks ago when it started talking about fixing just one lane of the road apparently because of its fear of losing re-election.
Therefore for us in the SPN, we place the blame for the petrol tanker explosion on the Governor Dapo Abiodun-led Ogun state government and its neglect of the needs of the communities in Ogun state. We call on the youth and entirety of the people in Olambe and Matogun to organize themselves and begin to demand the following:
(1) Adequate compensation to all victims
(2) Completion of both lanes of the 32 kilometre Sango-Ota/Ijoko/Olambe/Akute/Alagbole road
(3) No palliatives; immediate public works programme to begin to fix all roads in the communities
(4) Provision of fire service stations, police stations, public schools and hospitals all under democratic community control and management
Lastly, the failure of the successive governments formed by both the APC and PDP to provide the basic needs of our communities underscores the need for a working people political alternative. We therefore call on the community people and youth to join us in the campaign for a mass workers and poor people’s party with socialist programmes.
Comrade Akande Abiola
Socialist Party of Nigeria (SPN) Ifo LGA Chapter