Petrol tanker explosion claims lives in Nigeria – Matters Arising!


At least 95 people including women and children were killed on Thursday, July 12, after a gasoline tanker crashed on the east-west road in Nigeria’s oil-producing Niger Delta Rivers state and caught fire as people tried to scoop up fuel. While I sympathize with family members and friends of the victims of this crash, I have had to wonder why such a tragedy has continued to occur in Nigeria.
According to The Telegraph, reports that crashes are common on Nigeria’s potholed and poorly maintained roads, and in a region where most people live on less than £1.50 a day, the chance to collect spilling petrol is too much of a temptation, despite the high risk of fires. Telegraph is right and here is how it got it right.
Potholed and poorly maintained road: 90 % of Nigeria’s roads are not paved. The few paved ones are not maintained. Potholes, ditches and gutters make them death traps for innocent citizens. Yet Nigerian politicians drive fleets of most luxurious cars on the planet and live in palaces, home and abroad. If the roads were good, the tanker would not have fallen. Poverty: Only a few hungry people will not do ‘anything to feed.” Besides the fact that these poor people could make extra buck from the sales of now expensive gasoline, some of them also need the gasoline to power their “I pass my neighbor’ generators. Blame them? Blame the government first for not providing electricity. Bottom line: If the roads had been in order, perhaps tankers would not have fallen to cause spillage of gasoline. If electricity supply had been regular, perhaps the temptation to scoop fuel for generator sets would not have arisen. Finally, if the people were not poor, they would not have been blindfolded by their desire for fuel at the expense of losing their lives in such quest. Join us at CSAAE to fight these malignant evils of corruption and poverty destroying our people.        Fr. Vincent.