Obiano's fore-sight forestalls fire disaster at Onitsha Main Market
But for the hindsight of Anambra State governor, Chief Willie Obiano, traders and families with shops and goods at the multi billion naira Onitsha Main Market, the biggest market in West African sub-region would have been in anguish if government had not provided functional firefighting equipment to forestall such fire outbreak.
Governor Obiano had two months ago provided fire-fighting equipment at the market to enable men of the Anambra State Fire Service to respond timely to any outbreak of fire in the area.
Few days ago, there was fire disaster at Bright Street, Onitsha, which escalated and almost spread to the nearby roaring business axis of Onitsha Main Market, but for the prompt intervention of fire fighters who laid hands on the firefighting equipment provided by the governor.
Speaking when he visited the site of the fire incident to sympathize with traders affected by the fire, governor Obiano expressed delight that the fire-fighting equipment provided in the market two months ago by the State Government was used to control the fire from spreading to the entire market.
The governor noted that the fire started in a shop where gun powder was stored; pointing out that government would investigate the matter and prosecute the culprit for engaging in illegality. He announced the ban on sale of gun powder and other explosives and warned that nobody should be allowed to deal on such materials without police permit.
According to him, “the police permit would specify and regulate where and how such materials would be stored and where it can be sold.”
Said governor Obiano: “Following this ban, it is illegal for anyone to be in possession of gun powder and other explosives materials. Such possession must be with the permission of the police whose duty it is to specify and regulate where and how such materials can be stored and sold.”
Obiano enjoined traders to keep fire extinguishers in their various shops to ensure prompt intervention during fire outbreak.