By Bestman Joseph
LAGOSâ€”It was praises and prayers galore for the Governor Babatunde Fashola administration in Lagos State, as victims ofÂ the May 2007 fire disaster at Fadeyi, Lagos, received financial assistance from the state government.
The exercise, anchored by the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASFMA), in Alausa, Ikeja, weekend, saw no fewer than 56 beneficiaries smiling home with graduated sums, totalling N15 million.
In his address,Â Commissioner for Special Duties, Dr. Tola Kasali, represented by the Permanent Secretary, Mr. Adekunle Odubela, noted that the Fadeyi fire incident was particularly pathetic, as it was not caused by the carelessness of any of the victims but by an external factor.
He said, though some people had already foreclosed any form of government assistance, the exercise lent credence to the sincerity, humanness and populism of the Fashola administration.
He advised the beneficiaries to handle electric-powered domestic appliances with care to avoid fire outbreaks.
Speaking at the event, the GeneralÂ Â Manager/CEOÂ ofÂ theÂ Â LagosÂ State EmergencyÂ ManagementÂ Agency (LASEMA), Dr. Oluwafemi Oke-Osanyintolu, chronicled the governmentâ€™s varied financial assistance through his agency, stressing that the whole essence was tÃ² give succour to traumatised citizens.
He said, â€œThe handing of financial packages to victims of disasters by the state government has been coming at astonishing regularity. The most recentÂ include the cash relief for victims of the Tejuosho Market fire, Iponri Market fire, victims of Epe political disturbances of 2007, victims of the 2008 rain and windstorm in Orile-Agege, to mention a few.â€ He, however,Â advised the beneficiaries to put the money to good uses.
Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on LASEMA, Mr. Michael Akindele, urged people to be cautious and alert at all times, while thanking the government for its people-focused policies and programmes.
Responding on behalf of the beneficiaries, Mr. Chiemeke Samuel, leader of the residents of Ojelade Street, worst hitÂ by the inferno, paid glowing tribute to the faithfulness of Governor Babatunde Fashola, stressing that â€œFashola is not leading a deceitful government, God will continue to guide him and his cabinetâ€.
The event was attended by top civil servants of the Ministry of Special Duties and LASEMA.