Nigeria oil blast kills at least 110 people
Kanako Mita and Noriko Watanabe
Modern Tokyo Times
A devastating oil explosion in southern Nigeria is known to have killed at least 110 people. The latest tragedy highlights the chaotic nature of Nigeria because Sunni Islamists slaughter people every year, ethnic massacres erupt at any moment, and political cronyism continues to blight the country.
The disaster hit an illegal oil bunkering facility in the environs of the River State and the Imo State. Hence, with charred bodies all over the disaster area, it is a grim reminder of the abject failure of countless governments over many decades.
France 24 reports, “According to industry sources, Nigeria loses around 200,000 barrels of crude to oil thieves, vandals and illegal refining operators daily.”
However, despite Nigeria losing such profits and the dangerous angle of 200,000 barrels of crude being siphoned daily – little is done to stem the tide. Likewise, political cronyism fails to address serious issues that blight Nigeria. Therefore, poverty-stricken individuals take huge risks to tap into this illegal practice.
In 1998 approximately 1,000 villagers were killed after a huge pipeline blast. The blast happened in the southern town of Jesse. Hence, the latest blast will certainly not be the last that kills in such high numbers.
The Guardian reports, “Unemployment and poverty in the oil-producing Niger Delta have made illegal crude refining an attractive business but with deadly consequences. Crude oil is tapped from a web of pipelines owned by major oil companies and refined into products in makeshift tanks.”
The BBC says, “The authorities have been struggling to curb the proliferation of illegal plants where stolen crude oil is refined. The president ordered security forces to intensify efforts to shut these refineries.”
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