NLNG Corporate Caring banner FirstGem 3rd anniversay lecture Fidelity bank card banner Emerald Energy Institute Camano banner

Intersociety traces real causes of Onitsha inferno •Condemns ‘medicine-after-death’ and crocodile tears’

By News Express on 19/10/2019

Gmail icon

Views: 465

•The raging inferno  . . . on Wednesday in Onitsha
•The raging inferno . . . on Wednesday in Onitsha

Frontline rights group, the Int’l Society for Civil Liberties & Rule of Law (Intersociety), has come down heavily on the Anambra State Government over Wednesday’s devastating inferno in parts of the commercial hub, Onitsha, even as it condemned what it described as ‘medicine-after-death’ measures and crocodile tears’ in the wake of the disaster.

According to the group, the failure to prevent the inferno “defies excuses of whatever description or names called. Government of Anambra State must own up and take full responsibility. That is to say that ‘sympathies’ expressed by the State Government and other political office holders including Senators and House of Rep members from the State as well as the Federal Government of Nigeria are nothing short of ‘tears running down from the eyes of the crocodile.”

Intersociety’s position was conveyed via a statement issued on Friday and signed by its principal officer – Board Chair Emeka Umeagbalasi; Head of Campaign & Publicity, Barr Chidinma Udegbunam; and Head of Civil Liberties & Rule of Law, Barr Obianuju Joy Igboeli.

Intersociety said in the statement: “It saddens our heart that democratic governance in the State has been reduced from ‘service to humanity and society’ to “service to the clique’’; a sort of ‘organized cartel in a democratic setting’. Truth be told, the Upper-Iweka/Ochanja Market inferno is easily quenchable had the present Government of Anambra lived up to its governance responsibilities particularly in the areas of functionality of Government service machineries, early warning and emergency rapid responses.

“That a fire outbreak that originated from a leaking fuel tanker near Toronto Hospital at Onitsha Upper-Iweka could travel half a kilometer or 500 meters, if not more, to engulf several, if not hundreds of trade stalls filled with billions of naira goods as well as several high rising commercial buildings; is totally a clear sign of failed administration and its emergency rescue or intervention responses.

“The inferno, which destroyed goods and services worth billions of naira with no fewer than eight lives lost including late Mrs. Ifeoma Nwoye and her infant child; also exposes rabid and rapacious corruption shaking the foundations of various market leaderships in the State. From records, there were original facilities provided for market fire service in a number of markets in Onitsha and environs including Ochanja, Relief, Building Material and Niger Bridgehead Markets as well as the Onitsha Main Market, but for rabid and rapacious corrupt practices leading to selling and conversion of those facilities into lock-up stalls and laying off of their fire service procured vehicles till date.

“Same rabid and rapacious corrupt practices have played a key role in total absence of Government cemeteries in Onitsha and environs till date; be they State or Local Government owned. The previously existing ones carved out and maintained in the 70s and 80s were sold by successive State and Local Governments to the authorities of Catholic and Anglican Churches which were swiftly converted to church buildings. There also used be Onitsha Zonal section of the Anambra State Fire Service, located along Obodo-Ukwu Road, near Onitsha, which is now partly or totally converted to a motor park.

“Previously existed market fire service stations in Onitsha including Relief Market Fire Service, Bridgehead Fire Service, Main Market Fire Service, Ochanja Market Fire Service and lately, the Building Materials Market Fire Service, but today, all of them have disappeared with their designated space facilities likely to have been corruptly converted to private lock-up stalls.

“Another factor found to have aggravated the referenced inferno is blocked drainages. The fire was able to travel through gutters for 500 meters to engulf the outlet of Ochanja Market owing to blocked gutters and drainages. The original drainages and gutters linking the first scene of the inferno (Upper Iweka) were so deep and well paved that their depth is measured six feet below the surface. Today, they have got completely blocked and filled up debris following Government’s poor waste management and traders’ nonchalant attitudes. It has become so bad to the extent that traders of Ochanja Market now trade on filth; with gutters filled up and converted to trade spots.

“Poor road facilities or accessibility also majorly contributed to failure in quenching the inferno. It also prevented facilitation of independent interventions by ‘Good Samaritans’ including owners or drivers of human waste (excreta) and water tankers. Only very few were able to make it to the scene to pump their water and excreta inside gutters to quench the fire. Instead of ensuring round-the-clock attention to the state of roads in the State including city, intercity and trunk B roads, it is a ‘politics of road construction and maintenance’ by the camps of Obi, Obiano and Ngige”. This is despite the fact that Anambra State, apart from its soil and earth fragility, is also one of the most motorized States in Nigeria. The State is further flood prone; with 90% or more of its gutters and drainages blocked or filled with debris till date; forcing floods to wash or cut off the asphalted road network across the State.  

“The implication of the sad inferno is that all the markets and other major facilities in the State are not safe and secured from fire outbreaks especially in this coming dry season. If a fire outbreak could erupt and rage on for two days running without being brought to an end, then the State is not safe. This is more so when the number of the State’s ‘enemies within’ and ‘enemies outside’ is on steady increase. As at the end of business yesterday, fire was still burning some warehouses along Ochanja Market by Zik’s Avenue in Onitsha.

“It is also not true that ‘angry mobs prevented personnel of the fire service’ from God knows where from quenching the fire. This is because no sensible member of the public would have engaged in such despicable act. The truth is that no Government Fire Service personnel and their functional tankers were sighted timely at the two scenes of the inferno especially at Ochanja Market. It was individual efforts from beginning to the end. Such efforts included use of excreta pumped inside gutters to prevent escalation.

“Rather than mobilizing the Onitsha Cantonment Commandant, the Ogbaru Naval Base Commanding Officer and the crack teams of the State Police Commissioner just to visit the scene of inferno (Onitsha Upper Iweka), avoiding the Ochanja major incident scene, the Governor ought to know that it is far better to freely be and mingle with his own people than to address or speak to them while being ringed or walled by armed soldiers and police personnel.

“Visiting and possibly harassing the boss of the near moribund State Fire Service and offering of miniature compensations to the victims are a height of ‘medicine-after-death’. Apart from impossibility of such minutest compensations bringing back the lives of no fewer than eight that died, the capacity of the State Government to reconstruct all the burnt numerous four-storey high rising buildings, the several, if not hundreds of stalls and ware-houses stocked with goods worth billions of naira is a clear act of impossibility. Same goes to those who have offered and about to offer compensations or “fire service vehicles”. They are all exponents of “medicine-after-death” and “crocodile tears” approaches.”

Source News Express

Posted 19/10/2019 1:12:50 PM

 

 

CLASSIFIED ADS

 

You may also like...
EFCC secures warrant to arrest four top officials...

Why Yorubas are against APC, Tinubu and Buhari...

Why Delta lawmakers impeached Speaker

Akpabio, Etiebet at war over church comment

6 ways your child can benefit from early...

ICPC’s ‘bow and go’ enforcement mantra

VIDEO of CBN Governor riding horse at Durbar...

U.S. Consular chief visits Nigeria to review consular...

Niger Governor orders renovation of MDSs •Condoles with...

Sokoto approves N2bn for tuition, allowances of students...

Democracy Day: Buhari promises secure, more prosperous Nigeria...

JAMB kicks off 2019 admission process

 

Latest News Prepare for four more years of Buhari dictatorship — Adegboruwa •Warns that bad leadership may kill Nigeria 24 soldiers killed in surprise attack Jonathan faces suspension over PDP’s defeat in Bayelsa Oshiomhole didn’t pay salaries, pension of workers in 18 LGs — Edo SSG Bayelsa Guber: Gov. Dickson made victory for APC much easier ― Minister Muslim lawyers condemn arrest, detention of Sharia Court judge, others over alleged illegal marriage I won Bayelsa guber poll, PDP’s Diri insists •Asks INEC to declare him Governor-Elect Kogi Guber Poll: 16 candidates accept results, congratulate Bello Boko Haram fighters kill five villagers Malabu: FG to extradite ex-AGF, Adoke, over N288.6bn oil deal Ebonyi Building Collapse: Lawmaker offsets victims’ hospital bills NBA decries high spate of violence during Bayelsa, Kogi guber elections

 

Most Read NUDE PHOTO OF OMOTOLA JALADE-EKEINDE surfaces online (563,776 views) Nigerian female sex addict opens up, says ‘I like it with both men and women’ (452,758 views) Shameless Genevieve Nnaji exposes breasts in public (402,021 views) Finally named: The full list of friends of Nigerian female sex addict who prowled Facebook (336,467 views) OLUMBA OLUMBA OBU (the one who called himself God) IS DEAD (304,060 views) 10 cars more expensive than Jets (282,280 views) Igbo scholar disgraces Femi Fani-Kayode •Demolishes claims on Igbo/Yoruba history with facts and figures (259,127 views) Breaking News: POPULAR REVEREND CONVERTS TO ISLAM in Kaduna (Nigeria) (257,352 views) OBJ’s son reported dead in Lagos plane crash •Names of more victims emerge (238,880 views) My wasted years in Olumba Olumba Obu’s Evil Brotherhood (225,272 views) Lagos plane crash: Journalist releases victims’ names (201,713 views) THE FINAL DISGRACE: Igbo scholar unleashes more facts about Igbo/Yoruba history, finishes off Femi Fani-Kayode with second article (198,335 views)

 

CBN milk production

CBN banner advert

UBA Wise Savers Promo

 

Categories Advertorials (3) African Press Organisation (81) Art & Literature (110) Business & Economy (4,576) Business Verdict (86) Columnists (1,144) Complaints & Requests (97) Enterprise & Opportunities (219) Entertainment (704) Features (845) Global Business Monitor (493) ICT Monitor (67) International (4,221) Interview (211) Live Commentary (30) Love Matters (176) Maggie's Blog (490) News (54,121) Opinion (1,421) Pidgin (17) Politics (11,773) Religion (1,121) Sports (2,227) Stock Watch (40) AMA & Al Jazeera Global Update

 

 

 

 

 

 

APO Group Partner

 

 

CLASSIFIED ADS

GOCOP Accredited Member

GOCOP Accredited member

 

 

Africa Media Agency and Al Jazeera