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Weary Nigerians shrug off deadly pipeline blast [View All]

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Robbien Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-13-06 02:07 PM
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Weary Nigerians shrug off deadly pipeline blast
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ABUJA (Reuters) - A pipeline blast that killed up to 200 people near Nigeria's biggest city Lagos on Friday caused a ripple of sadness but no great outpouring of emotion among Nigerians who are accustomed to such tragedies.

"Of course, it's sad. But these things happen all the time. We are used to it," said Ihezue Obi, a newspaper vendor in the capital Abuja, after perusing Saturday's headlines.

Deaths in pipeline blazes caused by thieves are so frequent that they are usually reported in a few paragraphs on back pages of local newspapers, if at all.

. . .
Only two major national newspapers dedicated their main headlines to the pipeline blast. The other papers had the story underneath articles about an ongoing political debate on a constitutional amendment that would allow President Olusegun Obasanjo to stay in power for longer, while one had no story about the pipeline fire.

Obasanjo was on a visit to Indonesia and there was no formal condolence statement from the presidency or from any other government department.

Nigeria has seen a series of disasters on such an enormous scale that the figure of 200 deaths does not have the impact it would have in most other countries. In Lagos, a dilapidated port city home to an estimated 13 million people, a blast at a munitions dump in 2002 killed more than 1,000 people. In Jesse, in the southern state of Delta, a pipeline fire also caused by vandals killed about 1,000 people in 1998 and another 250 people in 2000 in similar circumstances.
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