By Nwanosike Onu, Awka
There was panic in Awka, Anambra state early Saturday morning as tanker fully loaded with petrol fell into a ditch along the ever- busy Zik’s Avenue
Residents and passersby ran for safety as the products spilled out, while some others started scooping it opposite Saint Patrick’s Catholic Cathedral church in Awka.
However, security operatives, including men of the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) and the State fire service were on hand to forestall what happened in Onitsha few weeks ago.
One of the residents, who simply identified as Chioma, said it was the intervention of God the tanker did not catch fire.
Also, a driver who identified himself as Samuel, said the security agencies had to block the popular Zik avenue to prevent another disaster.
He said if the petrol tanker had exploded, the number of deaths would have be in thousands because the place was thickly populated.
The Police patrol teams cordoned off the Area and prevented people from further scooping fuel.
According to the State Police Public Relation’s Officer, PPRO, they had to take such proactive measure to stop the Onitsha experience.
He warned residents to follow the directive of the security operatives to avoid any ugly experience and for them to avoid scooping petrol any time such thing happened in the state.
The Command said the people would be updated with any further development .
Meanwhile, a group, Human Rights, Liberty Access and Peace Defenders Foundation HURIDE, has threatened to stage a protest over alleged failure Of governance In Anambra
The group, led by Dede Uzor A Uzor, alleged that bad roads were the cause of incessant fall of trucks
The State Government had announced ban on articulated vehicles from operating in the day time in the state after the Onitsha inferno
In a statement by the State Commissioner for Information and Public Enlightenment, Mr C Don Adinuba, in Awka, the government said tanker drivers would be operating between 5pm and 6.30am.
Adinuba, said Governor Willie Obiano would not rest in his oars in making the people of Anambra happy.
But HURIDE, blamed frequent the fall of articulated and heavy duty vehicles on the deplorable state of roads in the State.
In a statement on Saturday in Awka, the group said the bad roads had caused a lot of accidents, destruction of lives and property like the recent inferno at Ochanja Market, Onitsha.
Uzor, the Chairman Board of Trustees (BoT) of HURIDE and the Secretary, Barr. Noel Nwabueze Udorji, advised Governor Obiano to stop using “outdated, archaic and 12th century method including half-baked contractors” to rehabilitate roads in the State.
They said: ”He should use professionally qualified contractors and apply international best practices to repair roads in Anambra State”.
The group warned that if in the next 30 days the Government does not commence serious repair of roads in the State, it would have no other option but to mobilise members for protest.