Buhari mourns as Tanker Accident Claims 23 in Lokoja

President Muhammadu Buhari has expressed shock and sorrow over an accident involving a petrol tanker, which killed no fewer than 23 persons, including five students of Kogi State Polytechnic and three children in Felele along Lokoja-Abuja highway.

The president said the accident “represents another disturbing and saddening incident in the litany of tragedies that have befallen our country.”

He said he was worried by the degree of the explosion which claimed the lives of travellers, school children and bystanders, including some students of Kogi State Polytechnic.

“I am seriously worried about the frequency of these unfortunate and large scale tragedies in the country which cause needless deaths,” Buhari, according to a statement by presidential spokesman, Malam Garba Shehu, said.

He was further quoted as saying: “These frequent incidents that result in loss of lives and property are a national scandal caused by our indifference to safety standards.”

He added: “Many accidents are preventable if proper proactive and precautionary measures are put in place or properly observed as routine policies.”

The statement said Buhari regretted that “ours is a country where we move on whenever tragedies occur instead of taking preventive safety measures to forestall future calamities.”

He tasked the county’s transport authorities, traffic and road management agencies as well as law enforcement officials to sit up and enforce safety standards with more seriousness.

“Refusal to do the right thing can cause potential tragic problems that harm innocent people,” the president said, adding: “Nigeria is not having a shortage of laws and regulations, but our problem is lack of zeal to enforce those laws and regulations for the sake of public safety.”

Buhari condoled with Kogi State government and the families of the victims of the tragedy.

The tanker, loaded with petrol belonging to the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) was said to have had brakes failure around 8 a.m.

The tanker fell on five cars, two motorcycles, and three tricycles popularly known as Keke, killing all occupants.

Among those killed and burnt beyond recognition were five students of the state-owned polytechnic, three nursery school pupils, and passersby.

Also killed were a businessman, his wife, and three children.

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