Pray for Onitsha?

Yesterday, the 17th of October, 2019 was a sad day for Nigeria. Many businesses suffered tremendous loss and people lost their lives in the Onitsha tanker explosion. As if things are not hard enough for many Nigerians, marketers hustling to get by daily have now lost a lot.

Following the Onitsha tanker explosion, everyone seems concerned and sympathetic. Even Buhari shared his condolences on twitter in these words; “The fire incident in Onitsha yesterday is sad and regrettable. I am profoundly touched by the sight of the charred remains of an innocent mother and her child, who are victims of this tragedy”. I, however, do not just feel sympathy but anger.

It is nice people are being thoughtful about the incidence in Onitsha, but for once, my mind doesn’t go with this mantra ‘Pray for Onitsha’. ‘Pray for the government in Onitsha and Nigeria’ sounds more like it. “Many buildings are on fire and the firefighters are nowhere to be found,” (A resident, TheCable) [1]. If they could not prevent the fire, the least that could be done is to attempt to extinguish it on TIME. The lack of proper emergency response is even more shocking, taking to mind the 2014 fire tradegy in Onitsha main market that left over 200 shops burnt and led to the loss of over 100 million naira worth of goods [2].

When will Nigeria honestly change and wake up to reality? How many tanker accidents will need to pass before they sit down and deliberate on ways to curtail these repetitive incidents? Is Nigeria the only country with petrol? Why don’t they look to what is being done in other countries? My heart, however, goes out to those directly or indirectly affected by the fire.

One thought on “Pray for Onitsha?”

  1. …many reflective questions in the last paragraph. It’s sad that there are no structures in place to rapidly respond to such emergencies involving lives and properties.

    Be that as it may, it will take Nigerians to fix the inadequacies in Nigeria. Hopefully, just men/women like King David described in his last words (2 Samuel 23) will assume the mantle of leadership in our beloved country, sooner rather than later.


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