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Uwelu market fire: Group slams Edo govt over faulty equipment

A group, Coalition for Good Governance and Economic Justice  (CGGEJ), yesterday, slammed Governor Godwin Obaseki administration’s failure to equip the fire service in Edo State.

It said the administration’s failure to equip the fire service contributed to the huge loss recorded by motor spare parts sellers at the Uwelu market in Benin, which was gutted by a midnight fire last Monday.

The group, in a statement by its Country Director, John Mayaki, said it was embarrassing that the state government would have to wait for such a monumental disaster before thinking of how to revamp the fire service.

Commissioner for Youth and Special Duties, Damian Lawani, took a tour of fire stations and equipment for on-the-spot assessment shortly after the fire incident and admitted that there were faulty vehicles and outdated fire fighting equipment.

“The  process of fixing the fire vehicles are 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,” he said.

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

“The fact that this inspection that is at least three years late and is coming after not less than five major fire outbreaks in Benin 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,” Mayaki said.

He recalled that Obaseki had promised to invest in the fire fighting service in 2016 after a major super market was gutted by fire in Benin and the fire fighting service could not rescue the facility.

“This administration is already set for the hall of shame in the history of Edo State,” CGGEJ said.

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