By Marufh Bello
The people have been fingered as the cause of the complete raze down of the Akesan Market in Oyo as the state fire station admitted lack of equipment.
This was said by Mr Moshood Adewuyi, Deputy Director, Fire Service, Oyo, during an interview in Ibadan, following the wildfire that gutted the market on Sunday 5.
Adewuyi stated that it was the people at the market that let the fire escalate to the point that it burnt down completely the entire market.
He explained that the fire started from a shop before the fire spread uncontrollably and gutted the entire market due to the uncooperative attitude of the people at the scene of the incident.
Adewuyi said his men were immediately dispatched to the site on distress call and the people at the market turned down their request for reinforcement and cooperation so as to put out the fire in time to avoid the very unfortunate incident.
The senior fire fighter officer said the request for the people’s cooperation became expedient because the fire service at Oyo town lacked the necessary equipment to put out the fire, explaining that some day before the disaster, the fire fighting engine to take to the scene had broken down and the spare part to fix it was not at reach.
He said the people at the fire scene started attacking his men accusing them of inefficiency instead of offering their assistance and cooperation as the fire fighter officers got to the scene without necessary tools to work with, stressing that the people’s anger made the disaster become uncontrollable.
Adewuyi sadly observed that following the raze down of the market, the angry mob moved straight to the fire service station at Oyo and vandalised the entire place leaving it wrecked to the point that we would not be able to respond if there was any fire outbreak in any part of the town at the moment.
The fire service deputy director stated the reason for the poor state of their equipment was that the successive administrations in the state did not pay attention to the needs of the service, adding that their equipment had suffered from ware and tear as the last fire fighter truck for the service was purchased in 2010.
He however expressed hope in the government of Engr Seyi Makinde as he remarked that the governor had paid on-the-spot assessment visit to the service headquarters in Ibadan in a bid to energise the service.
Mr Taiwo Adisa, the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor of Oyo State, in a contributory telephone chat, stated that the last time new equipment were purchased for the service was 2006, adding that the governor had released a tender notice for the acquisition of new fire fighter vehicles to enhance the services of the corporation.