Abdulraheem muhammed olarewaju

A fire broke out early Wednesday at the Dangote Refinery in Ibeju-Lekki, Lagos State, sending thick clouds of smoke billowing into the sky. 

The incident, captured in a trending video, also featured the sound of an explosion. The cause of the fire remains unknown at the time of reporting.

Anthony Chiejina, Group Chief Branding & Communications Officer of Dangote Industries Limited, confirmed the incident, stating that the fire had been swiftly contained. He clarified that the fire occurred at the refinery’s effluent treatment plant and reassured the public that there were no injuries or casualties.

“We have swiftly contained a minor fire incident at our effluent treatment plant (ETP) today, Wednesday, June 26th,” Chiejina said. “There is no cause for alarm as the refinery is operating and there is no recorded injury or body harm to all our staff on duty.”

The fire incident has generated a wave of reactions on social media, with many users expressing concerns about potential sabotage and the implications for Nigeria’s progress.

Daniel Regha, a prominent social media commentator, highlighted the timing of the fire in relation to recent complaints by Dangote about potential sabotage. His comment underscores a prevalent suspicion among Nigerians about deliberate attempts to hinder the refinery’s progress. “Dangote’s refinery is catching fire a few days after he complained that some persons are trying to stop the refinery? What a coincidence (indeed). It’s disturbing how this refinery is yet to function efficiently or yield any positive results, but already has a lot of issues. Only in Nigeria,” he said.

In response, user YiM offered a perspective that points to external geopolitical factors influencing Nigeria’s struggles. This viewpoint suggests that international powers may have a stake in preventing Nigeria’s economic advancement. “Do not place the blame solely on Nigeria; external forces also play a significant role. These powers outside the continent have a vested interest in our stagnation, as our prosperity threatens their dominance. Our success signifies their decline, and thus, they work tirelessly to ensure our perpetual struggle. Wake up,” he said.

Abejide Toluwalope Emmanuel voiced a common sentiment, hoping that any saboteurs would be exposed and disgraced. “May God put an end to it, and if there are people who don’t want the refinery to work, may God expose and disgrace them all,” he commented.

This sentiment was echoed by other users, who speculated that the fire might be a deliberate act to hinder the refinery’s operations.

Several commenters stressed the need for effective response and accountability. Mathias Efeche Ayiebe Ette emphasized the importance of the fire service’s role in managing such incidents. “Fire service should do their job,” he wrote.

James Sonik also highlighted the critical role of the Nigerian fire service. “Nigeria service, should do the needful, this is where we needed them most,” he commented.

The incident has also sparked discussions about the economic impact and personal benefits of the refinery. Some users, like Owojecho Francis, expressed skepticism about the refinery’s direct benefits to their lives. “Nothing concerns me. That refinery changes nothing in my life. Let those in charge be concerned,” he stated.

Similarly, John Ayobami Oso expressed doubts about the refinery’s economic value to ordinary Nigerians. “Although I sympathize with whatever might have been the loss… The essence of the refinery is unknown to me, as it doesn’t directly add economic value to me and my family,” he commented.

Despite the concerns, some users remain hopeful that the refinery will overcome any challenges. Chinedu Emmanuel expressed optimism about the refinery’s resilience. “I hope this refinery survives against the cabals who stood against it,” he wrote.

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