President Muhammadu Buhari has directed the nation’s armed forces, security and intelligence agencies to intensify the clampdown on illegal refineries.
This comes after the reported deaths of scores of people Friday night after an illegal refinery exploded at Abaezi forest in the Ohaji-Egbema Local Government Area of Imo State, a statement on Sunday signed by Garba Shehu, Senior Special Assistant to the President (Media & Publicity), said.
Reacting to what he described as a “catastrophe and a national disaster,” President Buhari said responsibility for the loss of lives and property must squarely lie with the sponsors of the illegal refinery, “who must all be caught and made to face justice.”
In conveying “the condolences and the full depth and range of the nation’s shock and trauma” to the families of the victims, the Ohaji Egbema community and the government and people of Imo State, the President urged community leaders, the police, and the secret service to never allow the occurrence of the heart-breaking incident in any part of the country again.
At least 100 people have died after an illegal refinery exploded at Abaezi Forest in the Ohaji-Egbema Local Government Area of the state at the weekend.
The community is at the boundary between Rivers and Imo states.
Many vehicles were also razed during the incident, which has thrown the community into a state of panic.