Tirwun community in Bauchi Local Government Area of Bauchi State has disagreed with the submission of the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) that it is safe to site five gas plants in the area.
A traditional title holder in Bauchi Emirate Council Dr Hayatu Mustapha stated the position of the community today while speaking with reporters on the position of the DPR.
Mustapha, who holds a traditional title of Barden Kudun Bauchi, said “Our attention has been drawn to the unfounded press release by the DPR which is not only laughable but a clear case of compromise and deception.
“From the DPR Procedures and Guidelines, page 7, item D therein provides clearly that for an LPG Facility to be situated, there must be a 50 metres distance from public facilities such as school, mosque, church, market, terminus etc.
“It becomes so worrisome, however, that in the case of Tirwun Juma’at Mosque (Masjid) and Eid ground, this provision is completely negated despite series of appeals from not only the residents but other well-meaning citizens.”
He said “Since it has become a case of negation and defiance to laid down procedure, we are calling on the Executive Governor to exercise the powers conferred on him by the constitution to intervene just the way the Kaduna State governor did in a similar situation.”
Dateline Nigeria reports that recently, residents of Tirwun and ATBU Kari Estate Staff Quarters in Bauchi metropolis addressed a press conference at the secretariat of the Nigeria Union of Journalists NUJ Bauchi on the siting of the gas plants.
They 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, saying building the gas plants were not only hazardous but also dangerous.
The spokesperson of the residents, Muhammad Gurama, who was in the company of Muhammad Chiroma, Mubarak Hamza, and Abdulmalik Yalwa, said the gas plant will be sharing the same premises with a fuel station.
Reacting to the concerns of the residents, the Operations Controller of the DPR, Abdullahi Iliyasu, told reporters in Bauchi that “All the plants were established after rigorous assessment and evaluation of the safety of the environment and the people.
“An Environmental Impact Assessment was carried out before the plants were approved.
“The DPR embarked on a sensitisation tour of filling stations and existing Liquefied Petroleum Gas plants (LPG) on strict adherence to safety measures.
“We sensitised operators of filling stations, gas plants and the general public on the need for strict adherence and observance of safety measures in their stations,” he said.
He urged consumers of LPG to always check the expiry date of their gas cylinder before purchase, buy gas from certified gas plants and follow safety rules while refilling their cylinders.