OrderPaperToday – Worried about the spate of fire disasters across the country, Sen. Theodore Orji (PDP, Abia) on Monday gave religious interpretation to the devastating outbreaks, saying it could be a manifestation of biblical predictions of “end-times”.

 

This is just as the Senate resolved to send a delegation to commiserate with the victims and people of Anambra State over the recent incident which claimed several lives and called for an investigation into the incident with a view to finding its immediate and remote causes.

 

Orji made the remark while contributing to a motion on the “tragic fuel tanker fire disaster in Onitsha, Anambra State,” which was sponsored by Sen. Ifeanyi Ubah (YPP, Anambra),

He noted the number of fire incidents and accompanying loss of lives and properties in Gombe, Lagos, Osun, Ebonyi, Kaduna and Delta states in 2018 and wondered if the incidents have biblical implications, saying, “Fire is our greatest enemy in Nigeria. The Bible says the world will be destroyed by fire. I am confused; perhaps, the world is coming to an end.

“Since we now know what is going to kill us, we need to fight against it to survive,” he quipped.

Orji also highlighted the need for better fire fighting mechanism, as well as an improved road infrastructure that will aid emergency response during such outbreaks.

Earlier, while leading debate on the motion, Sen. Ifeanyi Ubah recalled the unfortunate petrol tanker inferno that occurred on Wednesday, 16th October, 2019 at Upper Iweka, Onitsha, Anambra State that led to the death of a woman and her child she had after 16 years of childlessness.

He added, “Buildings, shops, business premises and markets, including the famous Ochanja Market within the neighbourhood, were razed down by the inferno caused by a crashed petrol tanker, thereby depriving  those families of their sources of livelihood.

“That such a magnitude of inferno could rage for over four hours before the Fire Service came to the rescue still beats my imagination. In July this year, a motion on similar incidents was sponsored by Senator Orker-jev, which he said claimed lives and also destroyed property worth millions.”

Other senators who contributed to the motion include former deputy Senate president, Ike Ekweremadu, Uche Ekwunife, Stella Oduah, Bassey Akpan and Senator J.T Sekibo.

The lawmakers called for improved road infrastructure, training of drivers, modernisation of markets, provision of insurance and building of functional fire service stations in major markets across the country.

The Senate subsequently observed a minute silence in honour of those who lost their lives.

While urging the federal government to provide financial support to the victims, the Red Chamber also resolved to accelerate the passage of the Petroleum Tankers Safety Bill.

 

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Damilola Zebulun Adeniran
Damilola is a multiple award-winning Writer, Researcher, and Community/Sustainable Development Practitioner. His interests and experience span across media, academics, human capital development, and strategic planning. Damilola is a Paradigm Initiative Digital Rights and Inclusion Media Fellow. He is the first Nigerian in history to win the blog4dev writing contest organised by the World Bank Group. Also, Damilola's writing on violent extremism and sustainable peace in Nigeria won a PeaceWriteNow prize, presented by the Embassy of Ireland in June, 2018. His works have been published in Nigeria and the United States of America, in English and in French. Damilola has also attended important meetings within and outside the African continent including the 2019 Spring Meetings of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund in Washington D.C, USA. He was also a special guest on a panel discussion titled “How creative industry can help to stem fragility,” which was held at the headquarters of the World Bank in Washington, D.C, USA. Furthermore, Damilola was selected as a Champion of Advocacy against extreme poverty and preventable diseases by ONE Campaign in May, 2019. An alumnus of the prestigious Lagos Business School and Federal University of Technology Akure, Damilola Adeniran represents Nigeria in the Youth Transforming Africa Program.

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