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Funmi Iyanda
Lagos, Nigeria
Funmi Iyanda is a multi award-winning producer and broadcast journalist. She is the CEO of Ignite Media and Executive Director of Creation Television
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Friday, May 16, 2008

Once again, they die

In a hotel room outside my country I am watching International media reports on the Chinese earth quake disaster and those on the pipeline explosion in Lagos. I had contacted my office to get reports and more.

Years ago during the "bomb" explosion I had been doing New Dawn as a live daily morning show I was able to do daily reports, alerts and mobilization for aid. The letter of appreciation from the Lagos government still sits in my office. I say this because as a journalist I am not only frustrated by the awareness that we haven't got powerful and professionally well run media platforms to effectively report these occurences (they are many) and interprete them. We also don't have enabling law to feret information which might help public accountability. It will change I hope but note this; The Chinese quake is a natural disaster but it has been identified that one of the destroyed buildings had been built without following required standard required-earthquake safety standards. The people involved will be proscuted and executed.

The Lagos explosion is said to be an accident caused by a caterpillar at a road construction site in Ijegun.

Will there be an investigation into the possibilities of negligence on all parties involved, will they be prosecuted, what is the penalty?
Before the next pipeline explosion or collapsed building and other disaster we seem to have become resigned to should be not answer the question.
What should be the penalty for murdering hundreds of people due to negligence, criminal refusal to follow safety standards and corruption?
Whilst on the point, will we have reports that takes the human tragedy beyond mere numbers (often contested) to the ripple effect of families, society and its structure.
Think I'll tune to sports now or continue reading Gore vidal's point to point negotiation.


Woomie O! said...

I could see the thick smoke from my bedroom window.
I keep wondering why these things happen, how people can be so careless.
We lost too many little kids...
Who will take responsibiltiy for these happenings???

pamela said...

How odd. Im reading Gore Vidals The last Empire... Just finished one historical one... The mans wit is priceless

Its very sad these tragedies... one feels powerless


Fausset said...

like every other country,or should i say America, once major corporations are involved in negligent acts, the corporations are seriously fined and sued. "Get money from the bigger pockets". In this case, even though lives where lost, buildings destroyed, i think the caterpillar involved in this mishap should definitely be sued, and they should fix up everything that was damaged. This includes rebuilding the schools, pay money to the parents of the children who where involved and suspending their license. SOMETHING MUST BE DONE..

Sisem E. Naidem said...

It's just so sadenning...it really is. Now Nigeria has gotten to a state where we count death in statistics and ignore the drama going on in the lives of the affected victims and their loved ones. After reading the news reports, we will turn a blind eye and walk right on top of exposed pipelines on our way to earn our daily bread.
We will hear... we will cry... we will wonder... we will blame... we will forget... And it will happen again...

Sherri said...

let' s hope Gov Fashola can deliver.

Anonymous said...

There's never going to be a prosecution because the perpetrators are most likely in the pockets of government officials, both local and federal.

The amount of environmental degeneration oil companies are branded impunity from will never occur in the United States because there's government transparency. If there happens to be an occurence like this in the US, ...bye bye Shell Oil. Only with transparency can people be called out on their bullshit!, pardon my french.

The preservation of a denizen's welfare in humane measures begins at the cusp of electing a representative who veiws his or her constituency not as a means of gratifying his/her insatiable greed but as a people to be cared for dearly.

The Vagabonds In Power who condone these oil companies' activities, nothing short of environmental rape and moslestation in my opinion, by taking their money in lieu of statutory leniency should be relieved of their governance duties and forced to dole out the "blood money" accrued for the upkeep of the people he/she was supposed to be representing in the first place.

Unknown said...

Natural disasters happen in other countries in the world, Artificial disasters happen in Nigeria. What about the explosion of a tanker in Jibowo about 2 weeks ago? No one has heard anything from the tanker company. No apologies made, no arrests, no prosecutions. Unfortunately, the law of Torts is no law in Nigeria. Negligence is a crime only in the law books and lectures.

Nigerian Drama Queen said...

Funmi, would you say there is a need for more jounalist in Nigeria?

dblog said...

It's true that we don't know what we've got until we lose it, but it's also true that we don't know what we've been missing until it arrives.

Novelist Afrique said...

This is too sad o....All we can do is pray and hope that peace reigns.The children,their tears and lives were caused by this horrible incident.~Novelist Afrique