Today makes it exactly one month that a pipeline explosion in Kom Kom community in Oyigbo Local Government Area of Rivers State killed at least 70 persons. While dead bodies littered different parts of the swamp, the community was left to their fate. They have buried those whose dead bodies they were able to recover while the stench from those whose bodies the community could not recover have become a health burden.
Yet the silence that has characterised the Kom Kom explosion is too deafening for even the deaf and those who are hard of hearing. No other person but the governor of the state should lead the quest to ensure that the decomposing bodies in that swamp are recovered, buried and proper remediation of the environment carried out but do the Kom Kom lives matter?
Since the explosion happened, the governor has spoken concerning so many issues but not how succour should be provided for the families of the victims and survivors in Kom Kom.
Perhaps, the governor has not seen the need to speak in the Kom Kom matter as it will not in any way put him on the pages of national dailies same way going to Benue in 2018 to donate 200 million to the victims of herdsmen killings did. Kom Kom lives do not matter.
The Kom Kom explosion is a moral burden for all of us but the government should go beyond the face-saving activities like the inquest being conducted at the floor of the house of assembly and show real working.
While the house of assembly is pleading with Kom Kom community to be patient and give the house committee time, a health scare is hovering in the air which will lead to multiples deaths.
While concerned stakeholders appreciate the silence of many, it has become a duty for those who care to continue reminding those whose responsibility it is to ensure that those who survived the explosion in the community also survive the impending doom because their lives matter not just to us but to their families, friends and colleagues.