Saturday’s pipeline explosion at Arepo village, Owode, Ogun State, has supposedly killed 50 persons if the words of one of the suspected vandals, Sunday Reuben, is to be believed. Reuben claims that there were over 50 of them stealing petrol from the breached NNPC pipeline when the explosion took place, pleading for the rescue of his colleagues “blown away by the force of the blast and dying in the creeks.”
He narrated the story of how he came to be involved in yesterday’s incident thus: “I was in my house when Suleiman my friend called me that there was a job at Arepo creeks. He asked me to look for a canoe and come with as many gallons as I could carry. Shortly after I arrived I saw people fighting before I heard a gunshot.
“The next thing was an explosion, I was lucky that I wasn’t close to the pipeline. It was the heat of the fire that affected me. I managed to run to my boat where my mother was waiting. There were so many of us both men and women. We are more than 50 persons over there and most of us are still inside that fire. Most of them are still in the creeks dying, please help them. Iya Olabode called a doctor who was about taking me to the hospital when we were arrested by the police.”
Also arrested, was a doctor who is suspected of attempting to smuggle Reuben to his private clinic for treatment. But he denies the allegation saying he acted on his oath to protect life. He further explained that Iya Olabode, his customer, called him to attend to a patient in her house at Abule Oba, Ikorodu area of Lagos.
“I am a family doctor to Iya Olabode for the past three years. So when she called me that there is an emergency, I quickly rushed to her house where I saw Reuben badly burnt. I advised her that we should take the man to my clinic for better treatment. We were on our way when the police accosted us.”
He further claimed that he never remembered to ask the patient how he sustained the burns.
“I forgot to ask him because I was in a hurry to save his life. I never knew that he could be a vandal because Iya Olabode is a good and respectable business woman. I am terribly sorry; I was only trying to save life.”