The Minister of State, Federal Capital Territory, Dr Ramatu Aliyu, has urged residents in the territory to report illegal distributors of fuel, kerosene and gas to appropriate authorities.
Aliyu made the call on Saturday while sympathising with victims and residents of the Kubwa Market fire at the scene that led to the loss of lives and propertu on Friday evening.
”Report anyone selling any flammable material near you either gas, fuel or kerosene.
“Report anyone that is not a legalised distributor of flammable materials or chemicals as there are depots made for things like these.
“There are assigned gas depots across the FCT and the government is still making more efforts to give us more gas plants.
“Natural disasters can occur anywhere but gas depots, most times, are kept away from human,” she said.
She appealed to FCT residents and members of the Kubwa community to be more law abiding.
“These laws are made to protect us, no matter the impact of the law.
“When we send Development Control officials you will be aggrieved and feel it is an infringement on your fundamental human right.
“But these laws are to protect you still the dangers would have been worse than the impact of these laws.
“We are lucky there was prompt support and response of the federal and FCT fire services,” she said.
While addressing members of the community, she frowned at the presence of fuel tankers directly under a transformer.
“As we speak there are more tanks seen with kerosene, if we had that much ripple effect , it would have been simultaneous and we would have lost more lives and property in this hard time.
“For instance, this is a tank, near a high tension wire, transformer and should there be a spark, it would be a ripple effect that will destroy thousands,” she said.
The minister, however, said that the likely cause of the fire would be investigated as well as whether or not the distributors were licensed to operate.
She commended the public for being calm as she described the incident as ‘’disheartening.
“ It is disheartening when we lose loved ones and family, it is more disheartening when we have to visit them in pain and even bury our loved ones or see them deformed.
“We bear this pain with the families, we feel with them and may the souls of the departed rest In oeace,” she prayed.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the minister visited the Emergency Response Unit and Mortuary of the Kubwa General Hospital to ascertain the information given to her.
Mr Muhideen Lasisi, Chief Medical Director, Kubwa General Hospital, confirmed that the hospital recorded five deaths and 11 people with body burns.
“We have 11 living and five bodies brought to this hospital.
”’What the hospital has done in synergy with the government and security agencies is an example of service to the people.
“The minister has shown willingness and commitment to bear the cost of the service”.