[wysija_form id=”1″]March 15, 2015 – A senator representing Lagos East Senatorial District in the House of Representative, Senator Gbanga Ashafa has blamed President Goodluck Jonathan-led Federal Government for the Mile 12 fire incident.
Senator Ashafa, a member of the All Progressive Congress (APC) who was addressing traders in the market said the unfortunate incident was caused by power surge, occasioned by high voltage from Eko Disco.
The senator who visited alongside the Commissioner for Special Duty, Dr. Wale Ahmed as well as Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Lateef Ibirogba said if the federal government had properly positioned the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN), the incident would not have occurred.
“If we talk, they say we blame Jonathan for everything. It is not a matter of campaign, the Federal Government should be blamed for the inferno because our investigation so far revealed that the fire was caused by electricity.
“Voltage was too high where it was coming from, that was the report we got and we don’t know when this will stop. It can only stop when we have good government in place. The government that will fix our electricity problem. We are not politicising, it can only come when there is change.”
Senator Ashafa who admonished the marketers to be law abiding and keep the records of their loss intact noted that the state government soon will constitute a committee that will meet with the market leaders to know the extent of the damage so as to know how to assist the affect traders.
“If there is anywhere in Lagos you can find Nigeria, it is Mile 12 market. Immediately this incident happened on Thursday/Friday, I was in Abuja and the governor called me and we sent an advance emissary to come and meet Alhaji Dandani to let you know that we can never take you for granted.
“Immediately it happened, were here. When the fire was raging, we were here. Our firefighters and men were here to assist you. We are assuring you by the special grace of God that the special change for the better will start from this market.
“The governor has instructed me to tell you that he would do all that is within his resources and capabilities to resettle you back here. The government will meet with your representatives and I want you to document everything so that you can present facts and figures;” Ashafa said.
Leaders of the market told the senator and his team that over 200 dealers and about 48 shops were affected in the inferno, even as they pleaded for government’s quick intervention.
They informed that when the governorship candidate of the People’s Democratic Party, Jimi Agbaje visited the market on Saturday, the entire market refused to welcome him and his team and later left without any official recognition.
According to the General Secretary of Yam Sellers Association in the market, Mr. Collins Obuchukwu Yam “They came here yesterday to politicise what happened here. The PDP governorship candidate, Jimi Agbaje was here. They did not come to our office to seek permission before they started campaigning, so I have to stop them.
“You cannot come and take advantage of our misfortune. You have never come here before but because of the unfortunate incident, you are now coming to politicise it, so I said no. Please we are calling on the government to come to our rescue. I know we have a responsible government in Lagos and by the grace of God, they will come to our rescue.”
Also, the Iyaloja General of the market, Mrs. Iyabo Ahmed Jayesimi said the fire would not have spread if the fire service men had been allowed easy access to the scene of the incident. She noted that palm oil and vegetable oil sellers are the ones in the area where the outbreak started, saying their jerry cans helped the flame to get stronger and spread easily.
In his remark, Commissioner for Special Duties, Mr. Wale Ahmed said election or not, the state has always responded to emergencies and has always identified with the people.