Concerned by the loss of 150 lives recorded at the Abia pipeline explsion, the Senate on Wednesday ordered an investigation into the incident.

The matter was raised on the floor of the Senate by Senator Theodore Orji.

Citing order 42 & 52, Orji said the explosion in Abia State was due to the negligence of duty by Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation staff.

According to Senate proceedings, that was shared on the Twitter handle of the Senate, @NGRSenate, he said that the villagers had gone to scoop oil from the leakage as a means of livelihood when the explosion occurred.

Contributing to the subject matter, Senator Victor Umeh said, “It’s very regrettable because people have refused to do their jobs. NNPC and Department of Petroleum Resources are supposed to do monitor these issues. Scooping oil should not be allowed. From the incident, it is clear the leakages were reported but those in charge ignored these reports.”

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Senator Mao Ohuabunwa indicted another government agency, the Pipelines and Product Marketing Company.

He said,  “I want to say it was a gory site. I saw human lives charred like rats. This is due to the negligence of PPMC and DPR. We have lost premium on human lives. This calls for serious investigation. The committee on downstream should investigate this.”

In response, the Senate President, Bukola Saraki said, “As we go into the prayers to look into how we can truly come up with resolutions, we need to show that lives do matter in this country and make this a very good example of that, I say this to those committees we have referred this to, because from the presentations and those who have contributed, this is just clear negligence on the part of those who are responsible and could have prevented the loss of lives of 150 people who have died.

“Those who will finally agree to look into this matter should treat it with the seriousness that it deserves. The Committee on Petroleum Resources and Police Affairs should perform a proper investigation and recommendation.”

“Let us have a report in two weeks and also find out what the Federal Government is doing about it.”

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