The Director General National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) Mustapha Habib Ahmed has paid on the spot assessment visit to site of the explosion that occurred following suspected oil bunkering/pipeline vandalization in Rivers State close to Ohaji/Egbema Local Government Area of Imo State.
The visit by NEMA DG was the first by any senior public official as the area is located inside a forest and deserted after the incident occurred on Tuesday.
Mustapha Habib Ahmed led a team from NEMA to the point of the disaster in Rivers State where the explosion occurred and the fire started before spreading into Imo State. However, it was suspected that perpetrators of the illegal acts had fled into Imo state also where many of the victims were burnt and some even lost their lives.
Speaking on the visit, the DG NEMA Mustapha Habib Ahmed said he was there on a rapid assessment and expressed shocked over the sad incident.
He directed NEMA Owerri operations office to work with the Imo State Emergency Management Agency and other stakeholders to conduct detail assessment for possible support to the affected persons. He also urged Nigerians to desist from illegal activities and vandalization of public infrastructures.
The DG NEMA was joined at the location by the former Minister of State for Education, Mr Goodluck Nana Opia who hails from the local government area. Mr Opia appreciated the Federal Government through NEMA for the visit of the Director General and appeal for supports towards the affected persons.
The Executive Secretary of Imo State Emergency Management Agency Mrs Onyeoka Priscilla who followed the NEMA team to the disaster site also appreciated the NEMA DG and his team for visit.
Chairman of the Local Government Area Mr Marcel Amadioha who also met the NEMA assessment team explained that the explosion affected many persons as he requested for assistance to provide them with succour.
The DG NEMA led assessment team comprised of the Director Search and Rescue Air Commodore Kennedy Mataluwo, Director Disaster Planning Research and Forecasting Dr Onimode Bandele, Special Assistant to the DG Mr Idris Abubakar Mohammed and staff of NEMA Owerri operations office.
The Commander Nigerian Army 34 Artillery Brigade Obinze Owerri, Brigadier General Usman Lawal also joined in the assessment by providing security cover for DG NEMA and and his team.