President Muhammadu Buhari has 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”.
The president made his feelings known in a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, in Abuja on Wednesday.
The presidential aide quoted Buhari as reacting to the petroleum tanker explosion earlier on Wednesday in Lokoja, the Kogi State Capital, which claimed the lives of travellers, school children, bystanders, including some students of Kogi State Polytechnic.
Buhari said he was seriously worried about the frequency of these unfortunate and large scale tragedies in the country which causes needless deaths.
”These frequent incidents that result in loss of lives and property are national scandal caused by our indifference to safety standards. Many accidents are preventable if proper proactive and precautionary measures are put in place or properly observed as routine policies. Ours is a country where we move on whenever tragedies occur instead of taking preventive safety measures to forestall future calamities.
However, refusal to do the right thing can cause potential tragic problems that harm innocent people”.
The president, therefore, 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.
According to him, Nigeria is not having a shortage of laws and regulations, but the nation’s problem is lack of zeal to enforce those laws and regulations for the sake of public safety.
He condoled with Kogi State government and the families of the victims of the tragedy.