The Anambra State Government has praised the state fire service for containing fire outbreaks throughout the state in a very professional way.
The commendation is contained in a letter by the state Commissioner for Information and Public Enlightenment, C. Don Adinuba, to the Managing Director of the Anambra State Fire Service, Air Vice Marshall Ben Chiobi (retired), in appreciation of the prompt response of his agency to the fire at the Onitsha Main Market this afternoon.
“The reaction time of the fire service was superb and its handling of the fire at the Plaza Section of the internationally famous market exceedingly impressive”, Commissioner Adinuba said in the letter which notes that no lives were lost in the incident, despite the fact that the fire started in a place with plenty of combustible materials.
“Your men contained the fire no sooner than it began, making a lot of people in the great commercial city unaware there was such an incident”.
Adinuba also acknowledged cooperation from sister agencies like the federal Fire service in the state, Nigeria Police Force and the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, noting that “it is the way to go especially in a place where there is cooperative federalism rather than unnecessary and debilitating rivalry among such agencies”.
The letter points out that the state fire service has displayed so much effectiveness and efficiency in battling infernos even in filling stations like the one at the Mobil facility in Awka on Christmas eve.
“The gallantry exhibited by your men”, observes Adinuba, “is as a result of the overhaul which your agency has undergone in the last three years since Governor Willie Obiano appointed you its Managing Director, provided critical equipment, hired more personnel for your agency, increased allowances to your men considerably and ensured better and regular training for them”.
The commissioner also observed the passion and infectious leadership provided by the state Chief Fire Service Officer, Engineer Martin Agbili.
Agbili’s enthusiasm and acute professionalism, he stated, earned him such nicknames as “Agility”, “Ability”, and Ezeoku” which enabled him to become the chairman of the Anambra State Chapter of the Nigeria Society of Engineers (NSE).
Adinuba advised Anambra people to disregard broadcasts by anonymous persons on the social media claiming that the fire at the Plaza Section of the Onitsha Main Market today spread for several hours without response from the Anambra State Fire Service or the Federal Fire Service in the state.
He referred to the broadcasts as part of the ongoing disinformation campaign against the Anambra people by propaganda agents of politicians who lost out badly in the November 6 gubernatorial election which the candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Professor Chukwuma Charles Soludo, won overwhelmingly.
“It is regrettable”, said Adinuba, “that the small coterie of politicians whom the great Chinua Achebe described as renegades have refused to accept the will of our people and are doing all manner of things to de-market their own state.
“This behavior calls to mind their action in November, 2003, when they burnt down the Anambra Broadcasting Service facilities in Awka and Onitsha, the Governor’s Lodge in Onitsha, Government House in Awka, Anambra House of Assembly Complex in Awka, and Judicial Complex in Awka, all in a desperate attempt to have emergency rule in the state which would see one of them appointed the Sole Administrator in place of the democratically elected governor”.
The Commissioner assured Anambra people that the renegades would be defeated in their mission as they were done in November, 2003.
C. Don Adinuba
Commissioner for Information & Public Enlightenment.