The recurring news in the country of tankers with petroleum products exploding into ragging inferno and destroying lives and properties in its wake is no longer new.
Is it the Onitsha accident where no fewer than 69 persons were burnt to death when a petrol-laden tanker, descending from Army Barracks side of the Onitsha-Enugu Expressway, lost control and rammed into the Asaba Motor Park, exploding into flames?
Or in Lagos, the tanker explosions at Idimu and Iyana-Ipaja that razed buildings worth millions, not to mention the Ibeju Lekki incidence where a petrol tanker fell right in front of a petrol station. All these mishaps within two weeks!
The roads are indeed in very bad shape, coupled with the rains that fall incessantly every day or what else could account for these tanker tragedies which now have the effect of making road users hold their breath at the sight of an oncoming tanker only to heave a sigh of relief after it has passed, some of these tankers are rickety, emitting black smoke from their exhaust and causing passersby to cover their nose for fear of being poisoned.
The blame game between the new governor of Lagos state Akinwunmi Ambode and the opposition party PDP, has failed to address the issue of whose responsibility it is to check the road worthiness of these vehicles and the competence of those driving them, the management of trucks with petroleum products should not be entrusted into the control of untrained persons as recent events has proved how devastating the resultant lack of expertise or slightest negligence from the driver could assume implausible consequences.
The Vehicle Inspection Officers (VIOs), needs to wake up to their responsibility of ensuring not only the road worthiness of trucks on our roads but the state of sobriety of the drivers because the roads are still very bad and Nigerians are not expecting to see an immediate change in that area and the rain is still falling hard, so, all hands must be on deck to forestall another disastrous tanker mishap.