The sudden death of victims of the pipeline explosion in Kom Kom Community in Oyigbo Local Government Area of Rivers State has been blamed on extreme hunger and poverty in the state.
Some family members of the victims disclosed that they cautioned their relatives not to go to the oil spilled site but they declined citing that they had no food to eat, and scooping spilled petroleum products for sale even for a minute would brighten their day.
Also, the candidate of the Action Democratic Party (ADP) in the 2019 governorship election, Victor Fingesi, while commiserating with families of the victims, said the deceased were pushed to their early grave as a result of difficulties. He urged the state governor, Nyesom Wike, to embark on programmes that would reduce poverty to the barest minimum in the state.
Similarly, some of the victim’s family members have expressed sadness over the demise of their loved ones, blaming their deaths to hard times and failure by government to create enabling environment for jobs and businesses to thrive.
One of the victim’s family relative, Victor Nduka, disclosed to The Guardian that his elder brother and his two children, aged 12 and 10 were burnt at the inferno. “My brother was advised not to go but he lamented that there was no food in the house and the children were out of school due to lack of funds, promising that immediately he fills one gallon, he would stop. Unfortunately, the explosion occurred before he could fill the gallon and all of them died”
Bonalor Saviour, also a relative of two victims, said when he heard of the spill, he told the people living around the area not to go to there but they refused, saying a gallon of fuel would put food on their table.
Nuka Akpolebabari and Nuka ThankGod, natives of Uegwere Bo-ue community in Khana LGA who reside in Komkom Community said, “I feel the incident would have been averted if the authorities concerned had secured the pipeline well and provided jobs for the people.”
Meanwhile, Fengesi in a statement wondered why Wike has not visited the affected area and some of the victims still in the hospital and the bereaved families.