THE Obi of Onitsha, Igwe Nnaemeka Achebe has expressed grief over the Oct.16 and Oct. 17 fire incidents in Onitsha.
The two fire incidents were caused by tankers laden with petrol that lost control and spilled the contents that exploded.
The first was on the expressway leading to Asaba through the River Niger Bridge resulting in loss of lives and property.
The second was recorded on Oct. 17 around Omagba area of Onitsha.
A statement released from Ime Obi Onitsha said: “I share the grief of all those affected, and thank everyone, including President Muhammadu Buhari, Gov. Willie Obiano, my fellow traditional rulers, leaders in the public and private sectors and a host of ordinary citizens, for their instant and massive expression of sympathy and solidarity.
“This is the third major petrol tanker fire in Onitsha since 2015. In May 2015, a tanker laden with petrol lost control and exploded in the same vicinity of the latest accident, killing about 60 persons.
“In February 2017, another tanker laden with petrol crashed into the Mobil Petrol Station on the DMGS Roundabout and the fire destroyed numerous homes and offices, but no life was lost.
“There have been other major fires in the markets that dot the city.
“In my annual Ofala address to the community, I spoke about pressures of urbanisation and unbridled commercialisation in the city, the need to debottleneck the road traffic conundrum in the city.
“I also emphasized the need for enforcement of planning regulations to curb illegal roadside trading that impede both vehicular and human movement.”
He commended Gov. Obiano for acting promptly to set up a panel of enquiry into the fire incident and pray that the remit of the panel should go beyond this specific event to address the fundamental causes of these disasters.
“It is my view that a holistic plan for broad-based tackling of the challenges of urbanisation and commercialization, which contribute to environmental pollution and degradation be evolved.
“An adequate fire service is a sine qua non for a bustling metropolitan city of Onitsha as well as other major towns in Anambra State,’’ Achebe said.
“I sympathise with all persons affected by the fire, and thank all and sundry for their support and sympathy and I call on the State and Federal Governments to save Onitsha from collapse as a homeland and leading centre,’’ he added.
– Oct 20, 2019 @ 14:29 GMT |