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Saturday, February 18, 2017

Gov Obiano Pledges To Resettle, Compensate Onitsha Fire Victims

Anambra state governor, Chief Willie Obiano has visited the fire disaster scene in Onitsha where he promised to assist all effected victims.

The Governor who disclosed this when he inspected the scene of the incident at Dennis Memorial Grammar School(DMGS)Junction, Onitsha, on Thursday also announced that an investigative panel would be set up to look into the matter and advise government on the next step to take on how to forestall a future reoccurrence.

Gov Obiano had to forfeit the Governor's Forum Meeting he was billed to attend in Abuja, took an emergency flight to be able to arrive the State to see first hand, the extent of damage done by the inferno and condole with the affected families.

On arrival, the governor was received by a joint team of Security and Emergency Management Operatives, State Government Officials and residents of the area who conducted him round the scene.

Speaking after the inspection, he lamented the huge losses to the inferno, but thanked God that no life was lost in the sad event. He commended men of the State Fire Service for their efforts to put off the fire and the Delta State Government for promptly assisting the state to battle the fire.

According to him, the Delta Fire Service support became necessary to enable the State's Fire Service tackle the fire challenges which came up same night at Okpuno, Unizik,  Nimo and Nnewi.

He said the state government will immediately commence clearing the debris, adding that the State Government through its Ministry of Lands, will liaise with the owners of Gas Stations in the area to relocate to alternative locations where there are less residential houses.

He further announced ban on bush burning which he identified as a major cause of fire incidents across the state especially during the harmattan period.

He also directed the State Command of the Federal Road Safety Corps to intensify checks on heavy duty trucks carrying petroleum products and building materials to ensure that they are in good shape before hitting the roads.

The governor commended the joint team of Security Operatives whose vigilance during the incident helped checkmate the attempted looting of Banks in the area, appealed to the citizenry to always stay away from fire scenes especially if they do not have anything to do with putting out the fire.

One of the victims, a widow whose house was razed, Mrs Joana Oboli cried that every of her life savings had gone into completing the structure and appealed to government and well meaning Ndi Anambra to assist them.

About 16 shops, 10 residential buildings, 15 cars and 3 commercial tricycles as well as other valuables worth hundreds of millions of naira were destroyed by the inferno.

By Kingsley Ezekwelu

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