Edo govt, APC trade blames over market fire incidents
Edo State Government, yesterday, expressed worry over fire incidents across markets in parts of Benin City, the state capital, accusing opposition political party in the state for the incidents.
Addressing newsmen in Benin, the state Commissioner for Communication and Orientation, Chris Nehikhare, said the burning of markets in the state has “confirmed our strong suspicion that they are responsible or at least complicit in the Lagos Street fire of yesterday and similar fire incidents that have happened on the eve of campaigns in the past in our State.
“The coincidence of the timing of these unwarranted fires calls for concern. Edo State government strongly believes the All Progressives Congress (APC) must be involved.
“Recall that prior to the 2020 governorship election, Eki Osa, Santana and Oba markets were set on fire, at a time, the APC was aggressively looking for ways to blackmail Governor Godwin Obaseki and dent his high popularity ratings weeks before the election. It would interest you to know that since the last governorship election in Edo State, there hasn’t been any market fire.
“Now that elections are coming again, the APC has resorted to one of its devilish and inhuman tactics and has started with the Lagos Street fire incident.
“Burning down markets is not a way to resurrect a dead political party that has manufactured unprecedented levels of poverty for Nigerians.”
Nehikhare said relevant agencies of government have commenced investigations into the Lagos Street fire.
BUT the Edo State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC), yesterday, accused Obaseki and his PDP government of failure to find lasting solution to regular fire incidents at markets in Benin, particularly at the end of the year.
Chairman, Edo Media and Publicity Committee of the APC Presidential Campaign Council, Mr. John Mayaki, in a statement, accused the Obaseki administration of “unconscionable negligence, especially on the issue of incessant fire incidents reducing people’s livelihoods and means of economic survival to ashes.”
His statement came after another fire incident was recorded at the New Lagos Road market, on the heels of similar disasters at the Oba, Ekiosa, and Santana markets.
“Every December, innocent women and traders in Edo State are made to suffer the terrible tragedy of seeing their life investments, and possibly sole means of economic survival, destroyed by fire, enabled by negligence and irresponsibility of the state government,” he said.