El-Rufai orders closure of gas retail shops in residential areas

Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State has ordered the closure of all gas refilling stations located within residential areas in the state.

The governor, who gave the order yesterday, appealed to residents to report such gas outlets to the government for immediate action.

According to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), El-Rufai at the scene of the gas explosion at Sabon Tasha, Kaduna, said the gas refilling stations should relocate to industrial layouts.

“It is most unfortunate that this incident has happened. It is further proof and evidence that this is a high-risk activity that should not be allowed to be located in residential areas.

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“We will relocate them, we will give them land in industrial areas where adequate precautions to prevent things like this will be put in place.

“But for now, we have to get all these gas refilling plants within the metropolis and towns relocated. We are mapping all of them. For now, they are shut down,” he stressed.

The governor also paid a condolence visit to the family of Prof. Simon Mallam, erstwhile Chairman of the Nigerian Atomic Energy Commission, who died in the incident and also visited victims of the gas explosion receiving treatment at St. Gerald Hospital, Kaduna.

He prayed for the souls of those who died and the quick recovery of those in hospitals.

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Meanwhile, the Northern Governors Forum has mourned the demise of Mallam.

In a condolence message, Chairman of the forum and Governor of Plateau, Simon Lalong, described the death as painful and unfortunate.

“This is a huge loss to the entire people of the northern region, the immediate family of the deceased and Nigeria, as we have lost one of our brightest minds,” the forum said.

Also, members of the Southern Kaduna Peoples Union (SOKAPU) have tasked the Federal Government to enforce the safety regulations for life-threatening businesses, just as the Kaduna State Police Command in a statement signed by the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), DSP Yakubu Sabo, expressed sincere condolences to the families of the victims and gave assurance that the Command would “investigate the root cause of the incident and ensure justice in accordance with the law.”

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In a statement signed by its National President, Jonathan Asake, the group expressed shock and grief over the death of NAEC DG and other victims of the explosion.

The union blamed the gas explosion on the lack of strict regulations on the activities of life-threatening businesses, including petrol stations.

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