By Sola Ogundipe
AN early morning inferno, Thursday, engulfed the Abuja head office of Ipas-Nigeria, an international NGO promoting issues of sexual and reproductive health and rights of women. No lives were lost in the incident but property and equipment valued at several millions were destroyed.
In a reaction to the incident, Ipas Country Director, Dr. Ejike Oji told newsmen that the fire started at about 2.00 a.m. totally destroyed the organization’s newly furnished conference room and an adjourning office belonging to a private firm.
He said that although the actual cause of the fire had not been ascertained, security men on duty had complained of frequent power fluctuation the previous night and the early hours of the day.
Noting that power surge as cause of the fire incident could not be ruled out, Oji said surges happen sometimes when electricity is restored.
He commended the officers and men of Asokoro Fire Service Station for their timely intervention, saying that the expansive four storey office building would have been destroyed if not for the gallantry of the fire fighters.
Meanwhile, Ipas is still trying to work out exactly how much was lost in the fire incident.
On whether the organization would still go ahead to celebrate its forty years anniversary, Oji said that Ipas-Nigeria would not be demoralized by the incident.
He said that the organization would continue to promote the reproductive health and rights of women to the best of its ability, adding that there were still plans to celebrate the 40 years of the existence of the organization which has offices in 40 countries across the globe.