Some residents of Tirwun and ATBU Kari Estate Staff Quarters, in Bauchi metropolis, on Sunday evening, appealed to the concerned authorities to, as a matter of urgency, put a stop to the construction of a gas plant by a private energy company, Action Energy Nigeria Limited in their area.
The residents while addressing journalists at the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) Press Centre, in Bauchi, submitted that building the proposed gas plant, Soro Petrol Filling Station on the ATBU-Kari Estate road opposite the Tirwun Juma’at/Eid mosque was not only hazardous but also dangerous.
Spokesperson of the residents, Muhammad Gurama, who was in company of Muhammad Ali Chiroma, Mubarak Hamza and Abdulmalik Saleh Yalwa, expressed the fear that in an event of any explosion, lives of thousands of worshippers at the Tirwun Juma’at/Eid mosque as well as residents would be at risk.
According to him, the fact that the gas plant would be sharing the same premises with a petrol station presented a double jeopardy where one would ignite and fuel the other, declaring that, “It is more like two time bombs ticking to detonate at any moment.”
Citing instances of gas explosions in some parts of the country, including Lafia, Kaduna, Lagos, among others, the spokesman said having the gas plant in a residential area was nothing but waiting for danger to happen.
Gurama claimed that the approval obtained for the gas plant was temporarily issued without recourse to the Bauchi State Fire Service Directorate, adding that the owners of the proposed gas plant failed to provide an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) report to the host community to ascertain the effects and mitigating measures.
He further claimed that the intended access road to the proposed gas plant was just meant for residential purposes, adding that it was constructed to serve the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University (ATBU) staff quarters and not meant to provide access for fuel and gas trucks.
The protesting residents’ spokesman alleged that despite a ‘stop work’ order on the gas plant since May, it was still going on with construction before the state governor, Sen. Bala Mohammed, recently issued a fresh order last month.
“We are aware that BASEPA and Bauchi State Urban Development Board have both issued ‘stop work’ order on the gas plant but they refused to comply since May 2021, while another stop work order was recently issued by His Excellency, Executive Governor of Bauchi State in July, 2021.
While we highly appreciate and are grateful to governor of Bauchi State for his timely intervention of issuing stop-work-order, which Action Energy had and is still flagrantly violating, we wish to call for the revocation of the property title in order to save lives,” Gurama said.