The Lagos State Government says it is handling the fire incident at Okobaba, Ebute Metta by Jebba, so as to bring some succour to victims.
Lagos State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, said this on Sunday while on visitation to the site of the incident to commiserate with the victims.
Sanwo-Olu was represented by the Commissioner for Finance, Rabiu Olowo, that of Physical Planning and Urban Development, Idris Salako and the Special Adviser to the Governor on Civic Engagement, Aderemi Adebowale-Owoeye.
They were accompanied by the Chairman, Lagos Mainland Local Government, Mrs Omolola Essien.
The governor, who spoke through Olowop, described the incidence as unfortunate, noting that it destroyed houses and businesses.
He said that the presence of the Special Adviser on Civic Engagement was to ensure a continuous dialogue with the people on ways to bring them happiness.
The governor also said that the presence of the Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development was to understand the situation of the environment, all with the aim of bringing a lasting solution.
“It is learnt that there has been cases of fire incidence three times within three months, which is too much.
”I have asked my aides to come and have on the spot situation and report back to me.
”We are here to see exactly what happened, how bad it is, in a bid to understand the present situation so that we can also learn what we can do to bring some succour to the people affected.
”It is not very good at sight, what we will hope to do is to understudy the root cause and we are going to attack it from the root cause so that this kind of thing will not happen again. “We are not here to displace you,” he said
At least, one person was confirmed dead while others sustained injuries in a communal clash that broke out on Sunday in Okobaba, Ebute-Metta, Mainland Local Government Area where the fire gutted on Nov. 8.
The violent clash was said to have broken out in the early hours of Sunday between a group of truck pushers who specialised in scraps business, mainly Hausa youths and some Odua People’s Congress (OPC).
However, personnel of the Denton Police Station, Lagos State Command raced to the scene of the clash, later and restored peace and returned normalcy to the area.
Narrating to the government team how the crash happened, Mr Hassan Ibrahim, Leader of Hausa Youths, Okobaba, said the trouble started when some of Hausa Youths went to buy scraps from the burnt shanties. He said on their way back, they were intercepted and harassed by some OPC miscreants demanding for money before they could go with the scrap materials to which the youths resisted.
”In the process, a fight broke out. One person was shot in the head and others who sustained injuries are currently receiving treatment at the Ebute Metta Health Centre.
Also speaking on behalf of fire victims, Alhaji Abdulhakeem Mohammed, appealed for government’s assistance, adding that the people affected were” really poor group.”
”We are happy that the Governor has sent representatives to have on the spot assessment. Initially, our fear was that you were going to send us packing from here but with your assurance, we are hopeful.
”All we need is government compensation. The people living here are about 500 families and are masses who can barely afford three square meals a day. We have nowhere to go,” Mohammed said.
Sanwo-Olu pleaded for calm and cooperation among the warring parties and the fire victims and urged them to maintain peaceful coexistence, shun conflict and violence.
The governor’s delegation also visited the Ebute Metta Health Centre, where the injured during the fracas were being treated.