At least 100 people have been allegedly burnt to death on Friday night after an illegal refinery exploded at Abaezi forest in the Ohaji-Egbema Local Government Area of Imo State.
The inferno which was reported to have thrown the community into panic also affected 6 vehicles which were razed as well.
According to Punch, a large number of people visited the scene pf the incident on Saturday to have a glimpse of the unfortunate development, with reports of no fewer than 50 bodies burnt beyond recognition at the scene of the explosion and many more suffering severe injuries.
Confirming the unfortunate incident, the Imo State Commissioner for Petroleum Resources, Goodluck Opiah, who is an indigene of Egbema and was at the scene, said that the state government had declared the owner of the illegal refinery, Okenze Onyenwoke, wanted.
What the Imo State Commissioner for Petroleum Resources is saying
Opiah in his statement advised the suspect whom he said was on the run to turn himself in at the nearest police station.
- The commissioner said, “This is a sad development. The Imo State Government has declared wanted, Okenze Onyenwoke, who owns this illegal refinery. I advise him to hand himself over to the police or any security agency.
- “This is wickedness. This is economic sabotage. It is also destroying our youths. I, therefore, call on the youths to go away from this kind of illegal business. There are so many legitimate businesses one could do to make genuine money.”
- This unfortunate incident has further reinforced the call by various stakeholders and Nigerians for the government to aggressively intensify its fight against illegal refineries, especially in the Niger Delta region of the country.
- Apart from the economic sabotage which the illegal refining activities cause the country, it also destroys the environment including the aquatic life of the various communities and states where they go on.