I have continued to read so many write-ups on the fire incident at Onitsha yesterday. Clearly, Anambra people are angry and are demonstrating that. Apart from posting Mr. Peter Obi’s statement on the incident, I have refrained from making any comment because I believe that at a time like this, it is of no use apportioning blame or trying to play politics. It is essentially a time to seek ways to avoid such avoidable incident in future. In fact, the most shocking spectacle was not even the presence of the fire trucks from Asaba that had to wade through traffics, but the sight of the nursing mother killed with her child. Any person not touched by how and where his little baby laid is not human.
Those that saw the Asaba fire people coming said the drivers drove to the scene as if the mission was the rescue of their own investments. I commend their sense of duty and what they were able to achieve.
Incidentally we were at Onitsha Ugbo, where Mr. Peter Obi was delivering keynote address to the entire EXCO of Delta State during their retreat on the requirements of governance. I saw when Governor Okowa left the hall with him. Obi later told me that he got calls about the fire outbreak at Onitsha and how he tried to make calls. He was happy that the moment he mentioned it to Governor Okowa, the Governor got in touch with his fire service and directed them to head to Onitsha straight away. I did not have to say this yesterday because such incident should not be politicised at all.
In fact, it was my brother and classmate, Barr. Adebola Owosho that prompted this write-up. Consider what he wrote on his facebook page: “So, Peter Obi, the best China Governor in African history for 8 yrs couldn’t set up a fire service in Anambra state? Failure! Righteously indignant, my friend crowned himself a headmaster and pronounced Obi a failure. May we not have his likes as a headmaster in any of our schools; otherwise his verdict will remain becalmed on failure.
Asking why Obi could not set up a fire service is a misnomer. Why Obi who left governance over five years ago?
It is not for Obi to set up “a fire service in Anambra State” because it already existed before him. However, let it be on record that Obi completed their head office, The SEMA Building at Awka (the picture is attached.) Obi renovated the fire service offices state-wide; got the personnel trained by the Federal Fire Service and signed MoU with them for periodic trainings; paid their retirees their outstanding pension that ran into billions. Above all, Obi purchased about twenty vehicles for them. What else should Obi have done for them? When Obi was the Governor, they responded to emergencies but today he is no longer the Governor.