Tag Archives: death

Veteran Nollywood Act, Ukwak Asuquo Dies


Veteran Nollywood actor Ukwak Asuquo who played the role of ‘Boniface’ in the popular ‘Village Headmaster’ is dead.

Asuquo’s death was announced in a statement signed by the Public Relations Officer of the Actors’ Guild of Nigeria (AGN), Monalisa Coker, which was shared on Instagram on Tuesday.

“With deep sorrow and gratitude to God for a life well spent, we announce the demise of Mr Uwak Auquo, popularly known as Boniface in the rested television drama series, The Village Headmaster…”

The Village Headmaster was a television series which was shown on the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) from 1968 to 1988.


COVID-19: UK affirm 936 more deaths.


The UK has announced 936 more deaths from the coronavirus today, taking the total number of fatalities to 7,095.

NHS England has confirmed 828 more people have died in its hospitals, aged between 22 and 103 years old.


Scotland, where 77 more deaths have been confirmed, also diagnosed a further 336 infections in the past 24 hours.

And Public Health Wales announced 284 more citizens had tested positive and 33 deaths had been reported. Five more deaths were recorded in Northern Ireland.


The total number of people who have tested positive for the virus across the UK currently adds up to more than 55,000, but the true scale of the outbreak is unknown.

Foreign Secretary, Dominic Raab, is standing in for Boris Johnson and said it is too soon to consider ending the UK’s lockdown and that the country must keep its foot on the pedal


When the death tolls of all four UK countries are combined the total number of fatalities is 7,172.

But because the statistics are recorded differently in each nation, numbers announced by the Department of Health each day are lower.


The Department’s all-UK roundup statistics are expected later this afternoon.

Experts warn that people should take the daily death tolls announced by governments as a guide rather than a concrete number for each day.


Many of the fatalities announced each afternoon happened days or weeks ago, and many of the people who have actually died in the past 24 hours will not be counted in the numbers for days or weeks to come.

University of Oxford’s Professor Jim Naismith said yesterday: ‘The current methods of reporting… has become unhelpful and distracting in evaluating the progress of the pandemic.


‘The swings in numbers that we are seeing are emotionally draining; hope one day and despair the next.’

He said the numbers of new positive tests and hospitalisations were a more accurate picture of the day-by-day situation, because there is no time delay on those.


A total 704 new cases were diagnosed in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland in the past 24 hours. England’s statistics, which account for the bulk of the numbers for Britain, will be published later this afternoon.

In recent days they have been reasons to be cheerful, with the 3,634 cases diagnosed yesterday the lowest for a week. For the past seven days the number has remained relatively stable at around 4,000 per day.


Today’s statistics come as Downing Street confirmed that the Government will not consider bringing an end to the UK’s lockdown next week.

Next Monday will mark three weeks since Prime Minister Boris Johnson urged the entire country to stay at home.

Chief scientific adviser to the Government, Sir Patrick Vallance, said last night that official statistics were starting to show ‘the beginning of change’ for Britain but it would still be at least a week until a clear picture of the epidemic emerged.


#Newsworthy…

Nigeria – Office of AGF in Abuja on fire.


Gatherings by NobleReporters indicate that Treasury House, the multistorey building which houses the offices of the Attorney-Genral of the Federation in Abuja, is on fire.

There is no confirmation about the cause of the fire.


Firefighters have responded to the scene.

The building, according to reports gathered, was recently renovated.

Gathering info…


#Newsworthy…

Country folk legend, John prine falls COVID-19 death prey at 73.


John Prine, country folk singer-songwriter, has passed away at 73 after suffering complications from COVID-19.

NobleReporters quoted Prine’s publicist as saying that the Grammy-winning singer died of complications from the killer virus on Tuesday at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville.


“Yes, we can confirm on behalf of the Prine family — John died today at Vanderbilt due to complications of COVID-19,” the deceased’s publicist said.

COVID-19 is the respiratory disease caused by the novel coronavirus.


“We join the world in mourning the passing of revered country and folk singer/songwriter John Prine,” the Recording Academy wrote on Twitter.

“Widely lauded as one of the most influential songwriters of his generation, John’s impact will continue to inspire musicians for years to come. We send our deepest condolences to his loved ones.”

His death comes days after the singer’s family had taken to his Twitter page to lament his worsening health since he contracted the killer virus.


“After a sudden onset of COVID-19 symptoms, John was hospitalised on Thursday (3/26). He was intubated Saturday evening, and continues to receive care, but his situation is critical,” the statement had read.

“This is hard news for us to share. But so many of you have loved and supported John over the years, we wanted to let you know, and give you the chance to send on more of that love and support now. And know that we love you, and John loves you.”

Born and raised in Maywood, Illinois, Prine started his music career at the age of 14 when he first learnt how to play a guitar.

He rode to limelight with his brand of country and folk tunes which is popular among his fans.

His death further stretches the list of celebrities who have died of the novel disease since it broke out in Wuhan, China last year.


#Newsworthy. …

Manchester City manager lost his mother to COVID-19.


Manchester City has confirmed that their manager, Pep Guardiola has lost his mother to coronavirus.

In a statement on Twitter, the club said:


“The Manchester City family are devastated to report the death today of Pep’s mother Dolors Sala Carrió in Manresa, Barcelona after contracting coronavirus. She was 82 years old.

City paid tribute to their manager on social media, saying: ‘Everyone associated with the club sends their most heartfelt sympathy at this most distressing time to Pep, his family and all their friends.’

The tragic news comes weeks after Guardiola himself made a generous donation of £920,000 (€1million) to help provide medical equipment in the fight against coronavirus in Spain.


#Newsworthy…

#NobleSport

COVID-19: UK death toll rise near 5,000.


The UK coronavirus death toll is now close to 5,000 after another 621 people died in the last 24 hours.

The new figure, which is lower than the record 708 deaths reported on Saturday, takes the country’s fatalities to 4,934.


Confirmed cases released by the Department of Health also jumped by 5,903.

The national total rose to 47,806 out of close to 200,000 tested for the virus.


Britain is now the fifth among countries with high death figures.

Italy leads with 15, 362 deaths, excluding Saturday’s figures.


Spain follows with 12,418 deaths. U.S. is third with 8, 454, while fourth-placed France has 7,560 deaths.

Iran’s death toll of 3,603 is now the world’s sixth highest, with China’s 3,329 the world’s seventh.

Queen Elizabeth is scheduled to address Britons at 7pm today.


#Newsworthy…

Kenya – Wife killed husband, herself over food.


A 36-year-old man, Bryan Indimuli has been confirmed dead after being stabbed by his 25-year-old wife, Joy Indeche at their residence in Ikoli Village in Malava Constituency, Kakamega County of Kenya.

Father of the deceased, John Indimuli said the incident occurred after his son complained that Indeche tripped over a chair and the ugali (maize porridge eaten in east and central Africa) she was carrying fell on the floor.


He said;

“My son suspected his wife had taken alcohol, hence her wobbly feet, which led to her tripping over and resulting in the fall of the ugali”

Following her husband’s attempt to cane her, Indeche picked a kitchen knife and drove it into his abdomen repeatedly. The lady stabbed her husband multiple times before turning the kitchen knife on herself. She is currently fighting for her life at Kakamega County Referral Hospital, where she was rushed to by their neighbours.

Ikoli Assistant Chief Walter Moses Namutali said;


“Her intestines were ripped out.”

John Indimuli admitted that his son’s marriage was filled with unending conflicts. He told K24TV;

“One year ago, the two had gone separate ways before reuniting. My son had married Indeche when she had a daughter from a previous relationship. The two would, thereafter, got a son together.”

Mzee Indimuli, a police officer in Busia County revealed that they buried the deceased on Saturday night, in compliance with the county government’s directive on burials during this period of COVID-19 crisis.


#Newsworthy…

Ghanaian footballer dies of COVID-19 in Italy.


A Ghanaian amateur footballer, Emmanuel Harrison has died of coronavirus in Italy after being diagnosed with the disease.

Italian news platform, Oglio Po reported that the 49-year-old man died 10 days after being admitted at the Oglio Po Hospital in Vicomoscano, a town in the northern Italian region of Lombardia.


Harrison who played for some amateur teams including Maffei where he led the attack, contracted the disease from a machine he shared with another employee at a local factory ‘EmiliaNa Parati’ he also worked in.

The report added;


“Emmanuel worked at the Emiliana Parati in Vicomoscano and had made himself well-liked by everyone, colleagues in the factory, and dressing room companions.

“His physique, as well as his undoubted skills of a striker, helped him.”

Prior to his death, he was making plans of moving to London where his wife and three children live. He was reportedly constrained by paperwork.

Harrison is now the third Ghanaian in Italy, and the fifth Ghanaian abroad to have died from Coronavirus.


#Newsworthy…

COVID-19: 6-weeks-old baby dies in US


A 6-weeks-old baby who died in United State of Connecticut last week, is now believed to be the youngest person to die of Coronavirus in the world.

Governor Ned Lamont who made the announcement on Wednesday Aprill 1, said a test carried out on Tuesday night confirmed that the newborn had COVID-19. The baby girl was found unresponsive and taken to the hospital late last week, but could not be revived.


Lamont tweeted;

“It is with heartbreaking sadness today that we can confirm the first pediatric fatality in Connecticut linked to #COVID19. A 6-week-old newborn from the Hartford area was brought unresponsive to a hospital late last week and could not be revived.


“This is absolutely heartbreaking. We believe this is one of the youngest lives lost anywhere due to complications relating to COVID-19. This is a virus that attacks our most fragile without mercy.

“Your life and the lives of others could literally depend on it. Our prayers are with the family at this difficult time.”


6 weeks old baby becomes youngest person to die of Coronavirus

Hartford Mayor, Luke Bronin confirmed the baby was from the community. The mayor said the disease can impact people, no matter what age.


Bronin said;

“We have also seen that this disease can be tragically unpredictable and fatal to people of any age.”

While cases in infants are typically mild, doctors are still working to understand the virus, including how it affects children. While the symptoms of respiratory distress, a cough and fever are similar, doctors have reported COVID-19 cases where children experience stomach distress.

As of Tuesday night, the state of Connecticut had 3,128 confirmed cases of coronavirus and 69 deaths. On Wednesday afternoon, Lamont said there were another 429 infections and 16 fatalities.


#Newsworthy…

COVID-19: U.S death surpasses China.


The United States has overtaken China in terms of death toll from the coronavirus pandemic.

According to http://www.worldometers.info, as of 1 a.m. on Wednesday, 3,850 lives have been lost to the outbreak in the U.S. This record has exceeded China’s tally of 3,305 deaths.


The deadly respiratory disease originated from Wuhan in China and has ravaged many parts of the world, leaving massive deaths.

United States, which already has the highest number of reported infections in the world, has become one with the third highest death records after Italy and Spain.


While Italy has a total of 12,428 deaths, Spain, after 700 deaths on Tuesday, recorded a total of 8,464.

New York City is the epicentre of the coronavirus pandemic in the U.S.


According to experts, the death toll might be twice the current figure as many die without being tested.

Countries have continued to report inadequate testing kits for potential patients of COVID-19, a strain of coronavirus which currently defies science.


Meanwhile, the death toll in Africa has been relatively low compared to Europe and other parts of the world.

No country in the continent has recorded more than 50 deaths. Egypt has the highest number of fatalities – 41, followed by Algeria and Morocco with 35 and 33.


South Africa still leads the continent with over 1,000 cases but has only three fatalities.

Out of the 161 cases in Ghana, 31 had recovered, which is the highest recorded in Africa so far.

Nigeria has 139 cases as of Tuesday evening with two deaths. About eight persons have recovered and have been discharged.


#Newsworthy…

{Photos} Sanwo olu to distribute Bread, Bags of Rice, Beans, & Garri to families in Lagos, Nigeria.


Lagos state governor, Babajide Sanwo Olu has just announced that the state will be supporting families with bags of rice, beans, garri, bread and some other essentials as families are asked to stay at home as the state just like everywhere in the world battle coronavirus.

Announcing this in two tweets on Twitter, the Governor said;


”I am happy to announce an economic stimulus package to help our residents cushion the effects of our #StayAtHome directive to stop the spread of #COVID19.

This first stage is targeting 200,000 households at an estimation of 6 people per household. We hope to ramp it up quickly.”

”The stimulus package will contain bags of rice, beans, garri, bread, dry pepper, drinking water and vitamins. We want each ration to last for 14 days as we continue to evaluate the impact of #COVID19. Please stay home with your loved ones. We want the best for you”, his second tweet read.


#Newsworthy…

Akure Explosion: 13 persons hospitalised.


At least 13 persons have been rushed to the hospital after a deadly explosion hit Akure, Ondo State, on Saturday morning.

The impact of the explosion destroyed houses and tore major roads apart.


A truck carrying explosive items to a quarry was said to have triggered the blast.

Residents of the affected area are currently in disarray over the incident.

Government officials have visited the area and are currently ascertaining the level of damage.


#Newsworthy…

COVID-19: African football legend dies.


Somalia has tragically lost former footballer, Abdulkadir Mohamed Farah to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Somali Football Federation has confirmed.

Farah passed away at a Northwest London Hospital on Tuesday (24 March 2020), after testing positive to the deadly virus last week. He was 59.


SFF president, Abdiqani Said Arab, has commiserated with the bereaved family on the demise of Farah, who was an advisor to the Minister of Youth and Sport.

Born on 15 February 1961, Farah was born in the city of Beledweyne, about 342 kilometres north of the capital Mogadishu.


His football career dates back to 1976 when he first appeared in the national schools football tournament.

He got promoted to regional level representing his home Hiiraan region in the 1979 regional football tournament.

The regional tournament became a platform for him to showcase his talent and from there he was recruited by Batroolka Football Club where he had an illustrious playing career until late 1980s.

For the past four years, he served as an advisor to the Minister of Youth and Sport of the Federal Government of Somalia.


#Newsworthy…

#NobleSport

Nigeria: Catholic priest found dead in his car.


The parish priest of Holy Cross Parish in Oroma Etiti community of Anambra State, Rev Fr. Charles Okeke-Odogwu was found dead in his car on Tuesday March 24.

Prior to his death, the Catholic Priest who managed Fr. Ohai Memorial Secondary School in Oroma- Etiti attended the regional meeting of his region of the Archdiocese on Monday March 23. He reportedly showed no sign of ill-health and participated actively in the meeting.


Rev Fr. Charles Okeke-Odogwu was found lifeless at the front of vicarage gate, with his car engine still running. From the photos shared online, it was gathered that the Catholic Priest vomited before he died.

MC Ikebobo wrote;


A Roman Catholic Vicar of Holy Cross Parish, Oroma-Etiti in Anam, Anambra State was found dead in his car at the front of Vicarage gate.

The priest identified as Rev Fr. Charles Okeke-odogwu was found dead before the gate of the vicarage on the steering. It is still unclear what killed the priest.

May his soul RIP.Amen.


#Newsworthy…

COVID-19: 67 priests dead in Italy.


A total of 67 Italian priests infected with the novel coronavirus have died since the pandemic reached the Mediterranean country last month, the Avvenire newspaper said Wednesday.

The youngest of those listed by the Catholic Church-affiliated paper was 53.


“Priests get sick and die like everybody else, maybe even more than the rest,” the Avvenire wrote.

The paper said 22 of the fatalities were in the Bergamo diocese, at the heart of the outbreak not far from the financial centre Milan.


Pope Francis asked priests “to have the courage to go out and see the sick” when the pandemic was gathering strength across the country on March 10.

Meanwhile, authorities in Sudan have ordered the release of thousands of prisoners to prevent the novel coronavirus from spreading in the country’s jails, state media reported Wednesday.


“The first batch of prisoners from (a total of) 4,217 have been released from al-Hoda prison in the city of Omdurman,” twin city of the capital Khartoum, official news agency SUNA reported.

It did not specify how many prisoners were released or the nature of their crimes.


Sudan, which has so far recorded one death out of three confirmed COVID-19 cases, has declared a state of emergency and almost totally closed its borders.

On Tuesday, authorities imposed an indefinite night-time curfew from 8pm to 6am local time.

They have also announced the suspension of all inter-state bus services starting Thursday.

Sudan has also shuttered schools and universities across the country.


#Newsworthy…

COVID-19: 1st death in Pakistan leaves trail behind.


A Pakistani village where the country’s first death from the coronavirus was reported last week has seen an alarming rise in cases, officials said on Wednesday, indicating how quickly the community spread of the disease is taking place in the country.

Health officials said at least 39 of 46 tests conducted in the village of Manga in Pakistan’s northwestern province of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, have come back positive, even as the total number of positive cases in Pakistan topped 1,000 on Wednesday.


Reuters on Monday reported about the case of Sadaat Khan, who upon returning from a pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia had hosted a large banquet attended by 2,000 people. He had not disclosed being ill upon his return and also refused quarantine when his symptoms intensified. Khan, who died on March 18, was the first fatality in Pakistan from the fast-spreading virus.

His case alarmed authorities, who declared the entire village of 7,000 people a mass quarantine zone.


“We tested close relatives as well as some random tests,” the province’s health minister, Taimur Khan Jhagra, said in a video, adding these were just the first batch of results from the village.

“There are significant lessons for all from this case,” said Jhagra.


Meanwhile, residents of Manga, which has now been cordoned off for a week, told Reuters the situation was critical.

“The army has been deployed in and outside Manga. We aren’t allowed to go out of our homes,” said, Imtiaz Ali, a resident of the village.

“The government has taken 98 people to quarantine centers,” he said, adding food supplies were running low.

Another local, Liaqat Ali Shah, said people of the village feared starvation as they had not been able to work for a week, and most were daily wage earners.


#Newsworthy…

Hantavirus: Nigerians react to another virus kill man in China.

despite the multi killing of coronavirus.

Hantavirus comes up, kill 1 in China


A man from China’s Yunnan Province has died of Hantavirus, a new virus, while on his way to Shandong Province for work on a charter bus on Monday. NobleReporters

He tested positive for the virus, while 32 other people on the bus were also tested according to reports.


Hantavirus is currently trending on social media, following the death.

Ortho-hantavirus is a single-stranded, enveloped, negative-sense RNA virus in the family Hantaviridae of the order Bunyavirales.


These viruses normally infect rodents, but do not cause disease in them.

Humans may become infected with hantaviruses through contact with rodent urine, saliva, or feces.


The Coronavirus currently ravaging the world first emanated from Wuhan Province in China, and has since spread to 197 countries.


#Newsworthy…

COVID-19: Italy record 651 new death.


Italy’s death toll from the ongoing Covid-19 outbreak as of Sunday rose by 651 to 5,476, data from worldometers .info has shown.

The number of deaths in Italy has topped what was reported in China where the disease originated from.


Death toll from the country has been on the rise and many health experts are attributing it to the country’s high number of aged people.

The health facilities in Italy have also been overwhelmed as cases keep increasing by the hour.


The death toll reported on Sunday was an increase of 13.5 per cent but lower to Saturday’s figure wherein 793 people died.

As of Monday morning, the total number of cases in Italy rose to 59,138 from a previous 53,578, an increase of 10.4 percent, the Civil Protection Agency said.


This is the lowest rise in percentage terms since the contagion came to light on February 21, the authorities said.

Of those infected in the country, 7,024 had fully recovered on Sunday compared to 6,072 the day before

Also, there were 3,009 people in intensive care against a previous 2,857.

The hardest-hit northern region of Lombardy remained in a critical situation, with 3,456 deaths and 27,206 cases against a previously given 3,095 and 25,515 respectively


#Newsworthy…

COVID-19: 1st death registered in Nigeria.


Nigeria has recorded the first death arising from Coronavirus, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, NCDC, reports on Monday.

According to the NCDC on its twitter handle, the first Coronavirus death in Nigeria had been recorded.


It said the case was a 67-year-old male who returned home following medical treatment in the United Kingdom.

The NCDC said the victim had underlying medical conditions- multiple myeloma & diabetes and was undergoing chemotherapy, while commiserating with the family.

“The 1st #COVID19 death in Nigeria has been recorded. The case was a 67 year old male who returned home following medical treatment in UK He had underlying medical conditions- multiple myeloma & diabetes & was undergoing chemotherapy Our thoughts are with his family,” the NCDC tweeted.

However, on Monday five new cases of Coronavirus (COVID19) had been confirmed in Nigeria.


NCDC stated that the new cases include two in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), two in Lagos state and one in Edo state.

Two of the cases were also confirmed to be returning travellers from the United Kingdom.

“This brings the cases of coronavirus in Nigeria to 35 and two have been discharged and one death. The latest development also means Lagos now has 24, FCT – 6, Ogun- 2, Ekiti- 1, Oyo- 1, Edo- 1,” it said.


#Newsworthy…

COVID-19: Chile record 1st death.


An 83-year-old woman has became Chile’s first victim of the coronavirus pandemic, health authorities said Saturday.

Health Minister Jaime Manalich earlier in the day said that 103 new cases had been reported in the last 24 hours, taking the total to over 500.


In Latin America, only Brazil has registered more cases.

Of Chile’s cases, 33 have been hospitalized and 359 are in the capital Santiago, Manalich said.


While the government has advised people to stay indoors, no official quarantine measures have been announced.

Even so, the streets of Santiago have been largely deserted, and the now traditional Friday evening anti-government protests that began in October have attracted few demonstrators.


However seaside resorts in central Chile, around 100 kilometers from Santiago, have been full of people, causing concern among authorities.

Some local mayors have closed their towns to outsiders.

On Wednesday, President Sebastian Pinera declared a “state of catastrophe,” and the next day Congress voted to delay from April to October a referendum on changing the country’s dictatorship-era constitution.

Earlier this week Pinera closed Chile’s borders to foreigners.


#Newsworthy…

Lagos Explosion: People still shock it wasn’t Bomb.


Lekan Olaoluwa, 29, was in church when the blast happened. He thought it was a missile attack. The roof caved in, glass windows shattered, injuring people around him. The rest hurried out, trying to understand what had happened. “We were still doing Sunday School, the service had not fully started,” he said. On getting home, Olaoluwa met a bald building – the roof had been torn off.

On Sunday, March 15, thousands of Lagosians reported they had heard an earth-shattering explosion around 9 am. The explosion’s ground zero was Abule-Ado, a community that sits beside the Lagos International Trade Fair Complex, a 350-hectare shopping facility along the Lagos-Badagry expressway. Surrounding communities include Festac Town, a federal housing estate which derives its name from FESTAC ‘77, the month-long event that showcased African music and fine arts to more than 16,000 visitors from across the globe in 1977.

According to more than 20 eyewitnesses who spoke to Channels Television for this story, the explosion was followed by a raging inferno that licked up houses with alacrity. One eyewitness said firemen were on site about 30 minutes after the fire started, but there were not enough trucks of water to curtail the ongoing destruction. According to Joseph Orji, the eyewitness, it was like bringing an umbrella to repel a hurricane.

On Sunday, rescue services recovered at least 17 bodies from the explosion site, according to the Director-General of the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA), Olufemi Oke-Osanyintolu. The operation, coordinated by several government agencies and the Red Cross, continued on Monday. As at the time of filing this report, three more bodies had been recovered. Many others had been rushed to the hospital. One three-year-old girl was found alive in the resulting rubble.

One of the casualties was Revd. Sist. Henrietta Alokha, the school principal of Bethlehem Girls College, a catholic institution with boarding facilities. By Monday, Bethlehem College’s warren of sepia-coloured buildings had fallen flat like Jericho’s walls, reduced to rubble. The grounds, patrolled by an excavator seeking buried bodies, looked like a wasteland.

The scale of the destruction attracted thousands of sympathisers to Abule-Ado early Monday morning. Hundreds gathered to watch an excavator drill through the rubble, while others moved around, hands-akimbo, surprise plastered on their faces. Security officials, including the police, army, and civil security agencies, were on standby and frequently tried to shoo away the crowd.

“It was a very pathetic situation,” Razak Akande, a Red Cross official who took part in the rescue activities on Sunday, said. “No human being gets there and not cry.”

It was easy to see why. This wasn’t just another explosion. It was different. The damage extended for miles. Parts of the Lagos International Trade Fair Complex were also affected. Cars that avoided the fire had their windows and windscreen shattered. The air reeked of gasoline.

“There is nothing I can do except to find a way to fix our roof,” Olaoluwa, the 29-year-old who is waiting to be called up for national youth service, said. But others closer to the tragedy, those who had lost loved ones and entire properties to the fire, were not so hopeful. Women sobbed. Men milled around, grief-stricken, uncertain of the future. “What will I tell you?” One man standing in front of his ruined school told this reporter. “It is better for me to endure my pain alone.”

What cause the explosion?

By Sunday evening, the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) released a statement, explaining the cause of the blast.

“The blast occurred after a truck hit some gas cylinders stacked in a processing plant located near the corporation’s System 2B pipeline right of way,” NNPC spokesman, Kennie Obateru, said.

Obateru added that preliminary findings indicated the blast had also affected some NNPC pipelines which forced the corporation to immediately halt ongoing pumping operation on the Atlas Cove – Mosimi pipeline.

But the more than 20 eyewitnesses who spoke to Channels Television scoffed at NNPC’s explanation. Most of them were still visibly shocked and emotionally distraught. Their argument was that the scale of the destruction and how far it travelled (Lagosians 35km away from Abule-Ado said they heard the blast) didn’t correlate with the nature of gas explosions. Some reported that the community had witnessed some gas explosions in the late 2000s, and the scale of destruction was nowhere the March 15 blast.

One of the eye-witnesses, Emmanuel Obi, said it had to be a bomb. On Monday morning, he was wearing a pair of borrowed singlets and shorts, giving interviews in front of his charred building. “The only thing I have left is the clothes I wore to church,” he said. “My neigbour lost his only son.”

Another eyewitness, Ugochukwu Eze, 25, was washing clothes when he went out to buy more detergent. From a distance, he saw white smoke reaching for the skies. Then he heard the explosion. “I couldn’t hear anything,” he said. “The ground was shaking and everybody was running for their lives.”

Yet another eyewitness, Innocent Oranagwa, 56, was in Abule-Ado, some minutes before the blast, to do some shopping. His bike was approaching a junction when he noticed white smoke fizzing out from the ground. He asked the bike driver to use an alternative route. Less than a minute after making the diversion, he heard an explosion. It had to be a bomb, he told this reporter.

All the stories were similar – chilling accounts of sudden disruption and fear and loss.

“This is a bomb,” Eze said. “I live here and I witnessed it.”

What Next?

Abule-Ado is one of many residential communities in Lagos existing alongside petroleum pipelines. It is also part of a wider community, Satellite Town, which was inundated with some 50 tank farms in the 2010s. According to a 2019 report, the tank farms, which are operated by 30 oil marketing companies, house over 2.5 trillion litres of petroleum. Satellite Town residents have repeatedly called for the relocation of the farms, which attract hordes of tankers and, consequently, fierce gridlocks.

On Sunday evening, hours after the blast, NNPC chief, Mele Kyari, visited the blast’s ground zero. He acknowledged there were problems around standard processes “that are not optimum” and warned people not to build houses around pipelines. “It is very dangerous and they should respect our right of way,” he said. “It is for the safety of all and it is about ensuring people are safe.”

President Muhammadu Buhari described the explosion as a “tragedy”.

“I must confess I have never seen anything of this magnitude before, it’s like a war zone,” Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu said during his inspection on Monday morning. He announced a N2bn relief fund for victims of the explosion, with an immediate injection of N250m. The Governor encouraged other Nigerians and organisations to contribute.

Also, Sanwo-Olu announced an investigative committee headed by the Deputy Governor, Obafemi Hamzat, to look into the cause of the explosion.

For Oscar Martins, 45, who lost his cousins in the ensuing fire, the committee is the most important thing. “Money is not the most important thing,” he said. “They have to investigate.”


#Newsworthy…