By: BALA B. BITRUS, Minna
Niger State Emergency Management Agency, (NSEMA) said on Monday afternoon that the residents of Dagodnagbe (Pago), the host communities of the NNPC depot which was gutted by fire on Sunday were now free to return home.
The agency had on Sunday declared that the host communities were at risk of a possible huge conflagration should they remain at their abodes following the fire outbreak at the NNPC depot and the large chunk of fuel scooped by locals and stored at homes across the communities.
Security personnel had for the better part of Sunday, had hectic time pursuing some locals who resisted earlier warnings to stop scooping fuel from the broken fuel pipeline at the NNPC depot at Pago.
The agency certified that all fleeing residents of the area could now return home because the environment was now safe for normal domestic affairs including cooking with firewood and use of other naked flames.
Director General of the agency, Ahmed
Ibrahim Inga said all necessary safety measures had been put in place by the agency in conjunction with other relevant organizations that were involved in the fight against the fire outbreak.
The agency had on Monday fed the residents as part of stop gaps to avert any fire outbreak in the area because of the fear of the stolen fuel kept in various homes while the fire was still ravaging the pipeline and the storage tank at the depot throughout Sunday.
The authorities at the NNPC Pago depot has also assured that it would soon commence evacuation and cleaning of the spilled oil at the villages to ensure the safety of lives of all inhabitants of the affected places where the spill had reached.
Large expanse of farmlands were awashed by the fuel which leaked out from the broken pipeline and the storage tank. The NNPC said it is commensing spot assessments of the extent of the damage wrecked by the fire outbreak at the depot and the other places around the village.
Meanwhile the Commissioner of Police in the state, Paul Dibal Yakadi has appealed to citizens who were part of those who scooped fuel at the scene of the NNPC Pago depot or know those who were part of the oil scoop to report such information to the Police to avert any fire outbreak at their homes.
The Police Boss warned against storage of petroleum at home saying the measure was to avert fire outbreak but not to penalize anybody.
The police and other security personnel are mandated to go into homes in the area to search for hidden or horded fuel at homes in the area as part of step to arrest another round of fire.