DAMATURU/Nigeria: The Chairman, Youth Action for Peace Development in Nigeria (YAPDIN), Alhaji Muhammadu Usman, has absolved men and officers of the Federal Operations Unit of the Joint Border Patrol Team (JBPT) Hilux 12 of the Nigeria Customs Service, Jigawa State axis of a false report that gunshots were the cause of the gas explosion in Babura community, Babura Local government area of the state.
Setting the records straight, Usman said Nigerian Customs Services is a highly professional paramilitary with dedicated and efficient men and officers with duties to safeguarding Nigeria borders and will not indulge in any activities capable of denting the image of the service or whatsoever.
He described as misstatement mushrooms media reports that the inferno caused by a gas explosion at Babura community of around Nigeria/Niger Republic Border was due to gunshots by officers of the Customs Service, “this is very far from the truth.”
The gas explosion which occurred at exactly 2109hrs on Monday, 12th September 2022 was unfortunate, avoidable, and tragic.
As an eye-witness, Alhaji Usman clarified the misrepresentation flying around, confirmed he resides about 120metres from the scene of the explosion, operatives of Hilux 12 of the Joint Border Patrol Team have no connection with the incident and no gunshot by officers of Nigerian Customs at any intervals.
His words; “there was no gunshot but a fallen gas cylinder exploded which sparked remaining cylinders inside the vehicle to explode. The driver’s negligence and unprofessionalism were responsible for the explosion.
Alhaji Usman further explained that “there was a gas leakage among some of the gas cylinders this driver was conveying. Residents and passer-by were calling the driver’s attention in order to avert any form of fire outbreak but all efforts fell deaf to the driver’s ear.
“I’d earlier thought that the driver may be conscious of the fact that the vehicle pose danger if he had stopped at that spot and willing to push the vehicle to a safer location or out of the crowded areas but only to saw the said driver jumped off the vehicle and run away.
“At first, one of the cylinders fell off and exploded while the vehicle continued in motion up till about 40 meters and diverted, enter the drainage along the road. At this stage, the vehicle entered a ditch which sparked the remaining gas cylinders inside the vehicle to start exploding one after the other. The inferno would have been averted if the driver had been more professional.” Alhaji Usman clarified.
He said reports by social media commentators that the explosion was caused by shooting by operatives of JBPT Hilux 12 were baseless and misleading adding that reports that many lives were lost in the inferno were another falsehood, “some shops were touched by the fire.
Usman urged the people to fact-check information through a reliable source before spreading falsification capable of inciting hate.