The Lagos State Government on Wednesday gave financial support to next-of-kins of the 23 deceased victims of Ado-Soba pipeline explosion which occurred on March 15.
Presenting the cheques on behalf of Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, the Deputy Governor, Dr Obafemi Hamzat, expressed the government’s sympathy to the families of the victims, describing it as a sad incident.
“The report of the disaster was received by the governor, together with members of the State Executive Council, who visited the site of the explosion and immediately set up the Emergency Relief Committee.
“The committee was to assess the extent of the damage and also investigate the immediate and remote causes of calamity toward coming up with resolutions that will prevent future occurrence.
“Mr Governor set up the Emergency Relief Fund into which the state Government contributed N250 million, while private organisations and religious bodies have also made contributions.
“The state government, therefore, expresses its appreciation to all of them for their support and kindness.
“The Soba community explosion resulted in the loss of 23 lives and today, on behalf of Mr Governor, I commiserate with the next-of-kins and family members of the 23 deceased persons whose lives were abruptly disrupted by the calamity,” Hamzat said.
The deputy governor said that the administration valued the lives of its citizens and remained committed to the social pact of providing demonstrative and democratic governance to save lives and property.
Hamzat said that the state government would settle hospital bills of the victims of the explosion, saying that displaced families who had no alternative were being accommodated and taken care of at the State Emergency Relief Camp.
He said that the financial assistance being offered to the families of the 23 victims who lost their lives was only an effort to mitigate the impact of the tragedy on members of these families.
Hamzat said that the state government “feel and share in the pains of the victims family,” adding that they would continue to be in their prayers as no life could be equated to material of the tragedy on members of these families.
In his remark, the Director of Education, Catholic Archdiocese of Lagos, Msgr. Jerome Oduntan, commended the laudable gesture of the Lagos State Government in assisting the families and victims.
“As human beings and government that has human feelings, we thank the state government for their moral, physical and financial support.
“Although there is no amount of money that can replace human life, but we need to come together to show love, compensate, comfort and keep each other going at this time.
“We, therefore, on behalf of beneficiaries of today’s kind gesture, those who live to mourn those who are dead and those who are still nursing their injuries, l thank the state government for their kind gesture,” he said.
Earlier, Tayo Bamgbose-Martins, Commissioner for Special Duties and Inter-Governmental Affairs and Vice Chairman, Emergency Relief Committee, said that the psychological and physical trauma members of the deceased families must have gone through could not be quantified.
Bamgbose-Martins said the state government was doing all within its power to alleviate the pains they experienced.
“The disbursement of financial support to the families of the deceased victims is to remind you all that you are in our thoughts.
“Even as the committee continues its work toward the eventual normalising of life in the community, my prayer is that God grants the families the fortitude to bear the loss,” he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that many lives were lost, several people seriously injured and property were severely damaged inthe March 15 pipelines explosion at Soba Community in Abule-Ado area of Lagos.(NAN)