THE pathetic recurrent fire outbreaks in Nigeria have become unacceptable. Repeatedly, we wake up to disheartening stories of havocs wreaked by infernos. These do not spare residences, business complexes, worship centres, markets, etcetera, with humongous resources in ruins and precious lives lost. Fire incidents induced by fuel tanker mishaps, pipeline explosion and nefarious activities of vandals stink to high heavens!
Pundits have pondered over possible root causes of these disasters, with a bid to nip them in the bud. Unfortunately, they are in the upsurge, often with reoccurrences in specific places. A case in hand is the recent razing of Oja Tuntun in Ile-Ife, State of Osun, for the second time this year.
Most often, government (at all tiers) is apportioned blames, mostly for what it is clearly noted not to have done, more than praising it for the good it has done. After all, it doesn’t sound reasonable that any government worth its salt will take least interest in massive destruction of lives and property.
Recent efforts by government at investing heavily in curbing fire outbreaks are laudable. Virtually every state of the federation has received firefighting equipment, while fire stations have multiplied. The icing on the cake from the Federal Government is the recruitment of fresh firefighters and in-service training for extant ones. State governments have also been collaborative, with gestures as gracious and stupendous as augmenting these facilities within their respective domains.
Sealing the deal to rid our communities of fire disasters completely will involve collective responsibility by all.
Smokers and users of fire-lighting items for domestic/industrial ends are cautioned to always ensure stubs and fireworks are totally quenched. Fireworks should be abhorred, especially during the fast-approaching Yuletide. We all need to learn the safety precaution and expediency of switching off lights and sockets in our residences and other places of interest, especially, while we will not be around.
Our law enforcement agencies and firefighters should be fortified with voluntary timely tip-offs. This era impresses our government to legislate with strict enforcement, transportation of petroleum resources via pipelines and the rail.
Forestalling fire incidences is a collective responsibility. We must take precautions and be vigilant.