President Muhammadu Buhari has described as a “catastrophe and a national disaster” the reported deaths of tens of people on Friday night after an illegal refinery exploded at Abaezi forest in Ohaji-Egbema Local Government Area of Imo State.
The President, in a statement issued on Sunday by his spokesman, Garba Shehu, directed the nation’s armed forces, security and intelligence agencies to intensify the clampdown on illegal refineries.
President Buhari said responsibility for the loss of lives and property must squarely lie with the sponsors of the illegal refinery, “who must all be caught and made to face justice.”
He conveyed “the condolences and the full depth and range of the nation’s shock and trauma” to the families of the victims, the Ohaji Egbema community and the government and people of Imo State.
The President urged community leaders, the police, and the secret service to never allow the occurrence of the heart-breaking incident in any part of the country again.