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VP visits Onitsha fire disaster site, says life of every Nigerian matters to the government

By Pamela Eboh, Awka on 04/06/2015

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Vice President Professor Yomi Osinbajo yesterday, while visiting the scene of Sunday’s fire disaster at the commercial city of Onitsha, Anambra State, said that the life of every Nigerian citizen matters to the Federal Government, no matter his status or where he resides.

He made the declaration after visiting the scene of the incident where about 70 people died following an inferno caused by a tanker loaded with Premium Motor Spirit, otherwise known as fuel.

Osinbajo, who was accompanied by his host, Chief Willie Obiano and the Senator representing Anambra Central Senatorial district, Dr. Chris Ngige, said that President Muhammadu was very concerned and pained by the fuel tanker tragedy that he felt it was not enough to send a condolence message and so had asked him to come and commiserate with the people of Anambra state.

“I came on the instruction of President Muhammadu Buhari who was greatly disturbed by the unfortunate accident.

“He asked me to come and first commiserate with Governor Obiano and Anambra people. He was very concerned that he felt it was not enough to issue condolence message and so asked me to come and commiserate with the people.

“I have been taken round to see the heroic action of the hospital staff and those involved in emergency. Unfortunately, many lost their lives, but some have seen today and are responding to treatment,” he said.

On arrival, Osinbajo visited the nearby Toronto Hospital, where some of the patients of the accident were receiving treatment.

He however told a large crowd that gathered around the Asaba Park, scene of the accident, that he has also been discussing with Governor Willie Obiano on possible ways of Federal Government-Anambra State cooperation to forestall a re-occurrence.

The vice president also commended Governor Obiano for having undertaken to settle the hospital bills of the victims.

Briefing the vice president, Governor Obiano gave the casualty figure as 42 dead and 17 injured.

He noted that Anambra State Government has banned long trucks and petrol tankers from plying the roads in Anambra during the day, adding that the government has also banned heavy duty vehicles from plying on state roads.

According to him, the reason being that the materials used in the construction of state roads are not the same as the one used in building state roads and each time heavy duty trucks ply state roads, they cause heavy damage on such roads.

Earlier yesterday, the Archbishop of Onitsha, Most Rev. Valerian Okeke, accompanied by the Auxiliary Bishop Most Rev. Dr. Dennis Isizoh, conducted a requiem mass for the dead at the site of the accident.

In his sermon, Archbishop Okeke urged road users to be more careful in the way they use the road to minimise accidents. He also counselled them to do regular maintenance of their vehicles to ensure they are in good order before plying the road and also ensure road worthiness of their vehicles at all times.

•Photo shows Prof. Osinbajo.

Source News Express

Posted 04/06/2015 05:10:29 AM





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