Tears flowed freely in Abaezi community, Ohaji-Egbema Local Government Area of Imo State, as the state government on Tuesday buried en masse the 50 unidentified victims of the illegal oil refinery explosion.
The burial, which was attended by mourners, who are mostly youths, members of the Nigerian Red Cross Society, National Emergency Management Agency and politicians, saw the victims who were burnt beyond recognition lowered into graves.
The pain of the brutal explosion and the sorrow it caused was evident when the Interim Management Committee chairman of the LGA, Prince Marcel Amadioha, who represented the state governor, Hope Uzodimma, in an emotional address, said ,”This is the least we can do for these 50 remaining victims because nobody came to identify them like others.”
The Chairman said he had the instruction of the state governor to conduct the mass burial for the victims.
According to him, “The victims of the disaster were burnt beyond recognition. You can see there are no relatives of them present at the moment. This is because the victims were unidentifiable.”
He pointed out that the incident, which claimed over 100 lives, would serve as a deterrent to others who are involved in the illegal act.
The Imo State Government, led by Senator Hope Uzodimma is clamping down on all illegal refineries in this area. We can’t allow this economic sabotage to continue. We deserve better than this.
“The governor has shown enough compassion by providing us with enough logistics to carry out this mass burial
Also speaking, an opposition politician and former member of the House of Representatives, Jones Onyereri, asked the government to go beyond condemning the explosion and find a lasting solution to it.