By Usman Aliyu
Benin, March 1, 2021 The Edo chapter of All Progressives Congress (APC), on Monday, expressed sympathy with traders at Oregbeni Market in Benin over loss of goods worth millions of naira to inferno at the weekend.
The party, in a statement issued in Benin by its state Assistant Publicity Secretary, Ofure Oshebo, prayed for quick recovery for the traders hospitalised due to the injury sustained from the fire incident.
The statement quoted the Chairman of the party’s state Caretaker Committee, Col. David Imuse (retd) as blaming the severity of the incident on neglect of the state Fire Service by the present administration.
“It is not a surprise that the fire outbreak met with the poor response of the beleaguered state Fire Service, which has suffered untold neglect and poor funding since Gov. Godwin Obaseki assumed office.
“Edo people are disenchanted that the PDP-led Obaseki administration has reneged so soon after promising to prevent and contain future fire disasters, while receiving a 6,000-litre capacity firefighting truck donated to the state by the Federal Government in July 2020
“Maybe the governor has forgotten that elections are over; that is why he is still campaigning and making promises instead of taking action.
“He promised to collaborate with the Federal Fire Service to ensure that no stone was left unturned in the fight against fire incidences in the state.
“He even promised to refurbish the existing sire fighting trucks in the state, put hydrants and water facilities in markets to ensure that there is water when there is a fire incident as well as train the state fire manpower.
“But what do you have?”, the party chairman queried.
He called on the state government to go back and immediately activate the cooperation agreement it had with the federal fire service to safeguard the lives and property of traders in markets across the state.
Naija247news reports that the inferno reportedly started at about 9 pm. on Saturday, leaving several shops and goods burnt.