Major opposition party in Edo State, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has chided the state government for being so quick to visit and set up a panel to probe the mid-night fire that destroyed goods worth millions of naira at the popular Uwelu auto spare parts market in Benin-City, the state capital on Tuesday, describing it as “misplaced priorities.”
Several traders have been left in dire strait following the razing of their shops in the mysterious fire. When the state governor, Godwin Obaseki paid an on-the-spot assessment visit to the market Wednesday, he vowed that the source of the fire outbreak would be investigated by a committee to be set up immediately.
He also assured the affected traders of government assistance to mitigate their losses. The government made good the promise Thursday with the inauguration of an eight-member panel by Osarodion Ogie, secretary to the state government, which was given one week to submit its report. But upbraiding the government, the PDP said Obaseki was very quick to visit the fire-ravaged Uwelu spare parts market “and as usual, set up a committee to determine the cause of the fire” stating that “this clichè is the bane of the APC-led government – Misplaced Priorities!”
In a press statement signed by Chris Nehikhare, state publicity secretary of the PDP, the party averred that “in its almost 12 years in the saddle, the APC-led government has failed miserably to address the state of roads and other facilities and infrastructure in Uwelu Spare parts market, but has found it convenient to visit and make promises whenever a tragedy strikes”. Sympathizing with the traders and families of those who lost valuables and were directly or indirectly affected by the inferno, the party posited that “this outbreak is one too many!” The PDP condemned in very strong terms “the lack of an efficient, well funded, equipped and trained fire brigade service” stressing that “we have over the years lamented the deplorable state the APC-led government has plunged the state fire service, a situation that has eroded the confidence and destroyed the morale of the few brave men and woman that have remained in the service”.
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The PDP said instead of just setting up a committee to probe the cause of the fire, “which, in itself is misplaced, we suggest that Governor Obaseki should also apologize to the traders in Uwelu market for his sluggish approach in revamping and reorganizing a fire service worthy in name. He should as a matter of urgency, pull up his sleeve and begin to govern and spend less time, energy and state resources in a needless battle of superiority with his Godfather”. The party warned that it would not tolerate a situation whereby governance takes a back row seat to “political shenanigans” adding that let it be known that the behavior of the APC-led government is not “Politically Bailable!”
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