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Uwelu market fire: Group lampoons Obaseki over fire fighting service

By Alemma Aliu

BENIN CITY—FEW days after motor spare part sellers at Uwelu market in Edo State lost millions of naira wotth of goods to a midnight fire, a group, Coalition for Good Governance and Economic Justice in Nigeria, CGGEJ, yesterday, said the inability of the Governor Goodwin Obaseki administration to equip the state’s fire service contributed to the huge loss suffered by the traders.

A statement by the group’s Country Director, John Mayaki, said it was embarrassing that the state government would wait for such a monumental disaster before thinking of how to revamp the state fire service

It will be recalled that the state Commissioner for Youth and Special Duties, Damian Lawani, took a tour of fire fighting stations and equipment for on the spot assessment of fire stations and admitted that there were faulty vehicles and outdated fire fighting equipment.

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He had said: “The  process of fixing the fire vehicles is ongoing and will be completed within the shortest possible time.  The Edo State Fire Service Stations will be armed with the necessary working tools especially as we approach the dry season.”

But Mayaki said Lawani’s statement was a sign of the insensitivity of the Obaseki administration to the welfare of the people.

He said “The fact that this inspection that is at least three years late and is coming after no fewer than five major fire outbreaks in Benin City and beyond that claimed lives and property, is described by the government as ‘proactive’ is not only comically silly, but an insult on the sensibilities of all well-thinking citizens of Edo State.”

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