The Senate on Thursday urged the Nigeria Police Force and the Federal Road Safety Corps, to investigate the conditions that led to the fire outbreak that gutted properties in Onitsha late October. They legislators made the call following a motion on the unfortunate fuel tanker fire debacle in Anambra State raised by Senators Ifeanyi Ubah, Uche Ekwunife and Stella Oduah, representing the three senatorial zones of the State.
Narrating the frequency of occurrence, while stating the news report on the incidents, the senators regretted that within an interval of two weeks, there have been three separate incidents of petroleum tanker failures resulting to spillage of its contents and the Onitsha fire outbreak that consumed major parts of the popular Ochanja market.
While contributing to the motion, Senator Ezenwa Onyewuchi (PDP-IMO east) mourned the troubling reaction rate to emergencies in the nation, while sympathizing with the casualties of the mishap. He stated that “It is significant we take a proper look at the reaction mechanism of Nigeria as a country to crisis and fire emergencies. We can intercede as a governing body. We need to pay attention to the issues on our roads. Above all, we should look at moving inflammable products through pipelines instead of tankers because it is more secure and increasingly advantageous to us as a country and that is the place we ought to be going.”
Deliberating further, the senate urged the Federal Road Safety Corps to up its game in keeping unfit vehicles and drivers off the country’s roads.
Contributing to the motion, the Senate President, Dr. Ahmad Lawan, pleaded with the state government to be progressively responsive in guaranteeing the wellbeing of lives and properties.
In his reaction, he stated that “Some of the time we say we ought to have appropriate structure of government in Nigeria. Fire administration is a significant duty of any state to provide. The federal government can give some sort of help but however not take the lead. They ought to guarantee that the roads that lead to the market are extended and they are in good shape because these markets are fund yielding for the state.”
Dr. Lawan exhorted further that “there is a need to guarantee that drivers of these tankers are confirmed and that they don’t drink while driving. That places a few duties on road safety to guarantee that these drivers are not under any influence.”
The Senate observed a brief silence as tribute to the individuals who passed on in the inferno and agreed to send delegates to visit and sympathize with the causalities. They also urged the federal government to help the affected persons financially as well as putting out firefighting equipment in all major markets across the country.