The Bayelsa State Government has frowned at the sale and use of illegally refined petroleum products in the state, saying it had caused more damage to the environment and people of the Niger Delta.
The State Deputy Governor, Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, stated this on Tuesday when he visited the people of Bulou-Orua community over the fire incident that occurred there on Monday.
The inferno which razed down about 15 houses, leaving some people with various degrees of burns was said to have been caused by illegally refined petroleum products being sold at the community.
The Deputy Governor noted that the fire outbreak could have been averted if the people had discouraged the sale of such products in their community.
He called on communities to discourage the sale and use of illegally refined petroleum products to avoid such fire incidents in their domain.
Senator Ewhrudjakpo who also visited the victims in the hospital, directed that adequate medical attention be given to them and wished them speedy recovery.
His words: “We are here on behalf of the Governor, Excellency Senator Douye Diri who has directed that I visit the scene and the victims who are affected.
“We have visited the hospital and the management of the hospital has assured us that they can take care of them. We have deposited some money to ensure that they receive adequate medical attention. It’s our hope that they will recuperate speedily.
“Clearly the fire outbreak was caused by poor handling of illegally refined petroleum products. We encourage all Bayelsans to discourage the use of these products in their communities. Because once it’s poorly handled it will affect everyone in such environment.
“Communities should spot out those selling illegal refined petroleum products and get them out to avert fire outbreak that will affect innocent people. Communities should ensure that only legal businesses are carried out for the purposes of protecting lives and property.
“Leaders of various of communities will be given additional charge to identify and stamp out those involve in sales and illegally refining crude oil in their communities”, he added.
The Deputy Governor assured the community that the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), will assess the level of damage done by the inferno with a view to alleviating the plight of the victims.
Ewhrudjakpo was accompanied by the member representing Sagbama Constituency 1 in the State House of Assembly, Hon. Godbless Oyinke, Deputy Chief of Staff, Deputy Governor’s Office, Barr. Tesufa Alex Dumbo, Chairman of Sagbama Local Government Council, Hon. Embeleakpo Alale and other top government functionaries.