Segun Showunmi in Ibadan
The Oyo State Government has pledged to acquire 10 modern fire-fighting equipment through a competitive bidding process, and this is coming, as it sympathized with the victims of the fire incident that happened in the early hours of Sunday at Akesan market in Oyo town.
Penpushing reports Governor Seyi Makinde, had earlier in a post on his Facebook and Twitter handles, expressed sympathy to all victims of the incident which reportedly led to loss of lives and properties worth millions of naira.
The Governor in the post, assured residents of his government’s determination to end such disasters, adding, “I received with shock, the news of the fire outbreak at Oja Akesan in Oyo Town, in the early hours of this morning (Sunday morning). Words cannot convey my deep sadness at this incident and I sympathise with the victims. I appeal for calm as we investigate the circumstances around the unfortunate incident.”
Penpushing further reports that the Commissioner for Infrastructure, Transportation and Public Works, Prof. Raphael Afonja, while undertaking an on-the-spot assessment of the fire-ravaged Akesan Market, in Oyo town stated that the administration inherited a Fire Service Department with weakened capacity as a result of obsolete equipment.
The Commissioner added that the incumbent government had flagged off a process of rehabilitating the serviceable fire-fighting trucks so as to provide immediate service to the people, explaining that the process of rehabilitating the inherited trucks was still ongoing when the outbreak of fire incidents occurred repeatedly.
“The last time fire-fighting equipment was procured in the state was in 2006. The present government has, however, kick-started the rehabilitation of the few serviceable fire-fighting trucks. The one that was vandalised in Oyo was just repaired the day before when it developed gear problems after returning from an assignment’.
“Last month we engaged a company that will help us refurbish and salvage some of our existing trucks including the one that was vandalized in Oyo, we are also publishing by tomorrow (Monday) the tender request that will allow companies to bid for and supply the State with 10 modern fire-fighting trucks through an open and competitive process.”
The Commissioner for Works visited the scene of the incident in company of the Commissioner for Environment, Hon. Kehinde Ayoola and the Permanent Secretary of Ministry of Health.
Penpushing also reports that, the leadership of the National Association of Nigerian Students, (NANS) Oyo State has sympathiezed with traders and victims of a fire incident, noting that the union was disappointment with the inefficiency of the State Fire Service to contain a fire outbreak that occurred just 20 metres from the Oyo Station of the fire service.
The Chairman in Oyo State Chapter of the association, Comrade Asubiojo Olujuwon in a press release on Sunday in Ibadan, noted that the inefficiency of the State Fire Service to put out the fire shows the level of the unreadiness of the service to discharge its primary responsibility especially in a time of the year when fire is likely to break out more often.
The s union leader pointed out that the attention of Nigerian Students has also been drawn to a very disturbing turn of event, where men attached to “Operation Burst”, a Joint Security Task Force recklessly rubbed salt on the wound of grieving people of Oyo by opening fire at protesting citizens leading to death of one, as confirmed at the moment.
He added that “it is important to remind “Operation Burst” that this is a democratic society and citizens are at liberty to protest inefficiency at any level’, and however warned that the body will not condone recklessness from any security agency this year, especially in situations involving Nigerian students, calling on concerned security agencies to calls their men to order and ensure those responsible for the death are brought to book.
“We therefore called on the Oyo State Government to ensure quick provision of fire-fighting vehicles and other equipments for the fire service as contained in the 2020 budget and provision of relive grants for affected persons’.