•Ohanaeze President-General Nnia Nwodo
AWKA – President-General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief Nnia Nwodo, has expressed dismay over the extent of damage left by the inferno at the Ochanja market following the explosion of a tanker ladden with petrol two days ago along Enugu/Onitsha Expressway in the commercial city of Onitsha, Anambra State.
He wondered why fire would still be raging inside the market two days after the incident occurred when there is a state Fire Service in place.
Nwodo, who spoke in Onitsha during his visit to the market, regretted the number of lives and property lost to the inferno.
The Ohanaeze President-General came in company of the state chairman, Damian Okeke Ogene, said: “What pains me most is that I can still see some flames glowing. One would have expected that the Fire Service, Ministry of Works should still be present till now.
“These buildings that constitute carnage can fall at any time. It could have been cordoned off so as to prevent people from coming close to avoid more casualties.
“I’m appalled that those paid for their jobs are not doing them. I’m glad the press is here to help me take the news to the world.
“I had to cut short my trip to Abuja where I led a delegation of South East Governors and other stakeholders to meet with President (Muhammadu) Buhari over the Enugu airport in view of the importance we attached to the incident.
“What happened to you happened to the entire Igbo race. Your cry is our cry, please accept our condolences and see it as the act of God.
“I’ll do a letter to the state Governor emphasising that those of you who have lost huge capital are given the enablement to go back to business.
“He should also ensure that those who lost their loved ones are assisted in giving befitting burial so they have reasons not to regret over such calamities.”
While commending the Delta State Government and others for their assistance in containing the fire, Nwodo appealed to them to return back to site to complete the work they started.
In his response, the President of Ochanja Central Market, Nelson Ojukwu, thanked the Ohanaeze Ndigbo leader for the visit, expressing optimism that he would make good his promises.
Earlier during his visit, the Senator representing Anambra South Senatorial zone in the National Assembly, Ifeanyi Uba, urged the traders to lean on God in time like this, saying that they will not be abandoned.
He said he will raise the issue on the floor of the National Assembly so as to attract more help.
“I will work with the Igbo Ekunie Group to find ways to put smile back on the faces of the people affected. The devastation is much but do not relent, the Bible says in everything, give thanks to God. I have come and I will not leave you empty handed.
“I will provide you something through your leaders for you to use in ‘drinking water’ while we work on how to get you back on your feet. Don’t cry like people without hope. Something would be done,” the Senator said. (News Express)