… Sympathizes With Kubwa Fire Victims
Dr. Ramatu Tijjani Aliyu, Minister of State for the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), warned traders on Saturday not to sell highly inflammable materials in undesignated areas, citing global best practices.
She also expressed her condolences to the victims of the Kubwa market fire, which claimed the lives of six people and left ten others with various degrees of injuries.
The minister, who was accompanied by the FCT Director of Fire Service, Malam Sani Sa’idu, and other top management staff from the FCT Emergency Management Agency to the scene, praised the FCT Fire Service and other critical stakeholders for their proactive actions.
Those who were injured are being treated at Kubwa General Hospital and National Hospital, respectively.
She, on the other hand, bemoaned the high number of casualties, while also expressing concern about frequent fire outbreaks in major markets across the territory.
Aliyu also revealed that the FCT Development Control would be directed to remove all shanties along road corridors to make way for emergency operations.
According to her, “First, I want to on behalf of the FCT Administration and that Mr. President sympathize with the families of those who lost their beloved ones in this unfortunate fire outbreak. However, it is regrettable that six persons have been confirmed dead despite the proactive steps taken by FCT Fire Service.
“But I want to appeal to our residents to be law abiding when government make policy statement on certain issues. Before now, government has warned residents not to sell kerosene, diesel or any inflammable chemicals in an unauthorised areas. Abuja is a planned city and they are designated areas marked out for such trade.
“I will direct the Development Control to come here and remove all the shanties that blocked the access road leading to the market. I was told that fire fighters find it difficult to even access here due to illegal structures and shanties. All these will be removed by next week and I want you to show understanding in carrying out this exercise,” Aliyu affirmed.
Conducting the minister round the scene, the Director FCT Fire Service, Malam Sani Sa’idu, told the minister that the cause of the fire outbreak could not be established, but stressed that the fire outbreak was said to have started from a shop where kerosene was being sold.
Sa’idu also informed the minister that as soon as the Service received the distressed call from residents of the area, personnel were deployed from the nearby Maitama market Fire Outpost in Kubwa for rescue operation, stressing that if not for quick intervention of the Service, the casualties could have been more than the number recorded.
A trader, Mrs. Obilor Chidinma, who lost her 16 years old son, and a daughter who is still in critical condition was taken to Kubwa General Hospital on the order of the FCT Minister of State.