Death toll from last week’s tanker explosion at Okogbe community in Ahoada Local Government Area of Rivers State has risen to over 191 according to the paramount ruler of Okogbe community, Eze Joshua Eyiba.
However, a government official, who doesn’t want his name in the print said casualty figure as at Monday, July 16, 2012, was 133. Daily Sun gathered that, recent deaths were recorded at Ahoada General Hospital, University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital, Federal Medical Centre, Yenagoa, Bayelsa State. Some of them who were also taken to Herbal Homes for traditional treatment could not make it, as they also gave up the ghost.
Meanwhile, the hope of the affected communities getting relief materials from the Federal Government had been dashed, as the materials were meant for the victims. When Daily Sun visited some of the communities last week, some of the residents said they heard over the radio that the Federal Government had sent relief materials to the affected communities and were expectant of them.
But when the Daily Sun contacted the South-South zonal Coordinator of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Mr. Umesi Emenike, over the communities’ expectations, he said the relief materials were only for victims of the explosion. He said it was erroneous for anybody to think that the relief materials were for members of communities. According to him, many communities, comprising various tribes in Nigeria, were also affected by the incident.
“It did not affect only one community, the relief materials are strictly for those who are hospitalized. We have Igbo community, Hausa community, Yoruba community that were affected; do you expect us to also send relief materials to all of them?
He disclosed that the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital (UPTH), was the coordinating hospital. According to him, UPTH was given the responsibility of giving the relief materials to other hospitals, where the victims were receiving treatments. He said the duty of the Federal Government was to save lives of affected persons and not to distribute relief materials to those who were not victims.