Osinbajo, FG Team Visit Onitsha Accident Victims In Hospitals

Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo and Governor Willie Obiano after paying visit to some victims in one of the hospitals

Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo and Governor Willie Obiano after paying visit to some victims in one of the hospitals

EMOTIONS of residents again ran high when the federal government delegation, led by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo visited Onitsha to commiserate with the state/families and victims of Sunday evening fatal accident fire at the Upper Iweka area of the commercial city.

It was heart rending when eye witnesses, families and victims beheld the surging crowd who had trooped out to receive Gov Willie Obiano and the Vice President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo when they visited midweek to commiserate with the victims and families of the dead.

The Vice President used the occasion to reveal that the federal government and the state government were already talking and consulting on ways to work together for the development and progress of the state.

The VP who arrived alongside Obiano and Senator Chris Ngige amongst other high ranking federal and state government functionaries at a little past 4p.m in a long convoy of vehicles, drove straight to the Toronto hospital where they met with about six of the victims who sustained serious physical burns on their bodies. One of them was a middle-aged man from Ebonyi state who identified himself as Mr Friday Odah.

According to the Chief Medical Director of the private hospital, Dr Emeka Eze, apart from these remaining six, others have been discharged and placed on outpatient unit for periodic checks and attention.

From the hospital, the entourage took the three-minute walk down to the Asaba motor Park at the Upper Iweka area of the city, scene of the tragedy where they addressed the people and journalists. The security officers had hectic time controlling the crowd who kept cheering Senator Ngige with Onwa aaa, onwa aaa, almost to the point of disrupting the flow of movement until the visiting team was forced to address them.

The Vice President in his remark noted that he came on the specific directives of President Muhammadu Buhari, who he admitted was personally deeply touched by the tragedy.

He said the President would have come personally but for his scheduled visits to some neighbouring countries that have been synergizing with Nigeria on the battle against insurgency.

Osinbajo stated that he came to sympathize and commiserate with the injured and the families of the dead, as well as the government and people of the state over the unfortunate incident.

He noted that Buhari felt the tragedy was beyond mere issuing of statement, hence the directive for him to come to commiserate with the people and government of Anambra state.

He commended what he described as the prompt response and “heroic efforts of all of you” -the governor, people, doctors, and the security and paramilitary agencies who put in much effort to help the injured and all others in need at the time.

In a short prayer, the Vice President prayed for all those who lost their loved ones, and asked that they be granted the heart and strength to bear the heavy loss.”

Obiano in his remark confirmed the number of the injured still receiving treatment as 17 and told the Vice President that in order to forestall a repeat tragedy, his administration has banned movement of heavy duty vehicles on any road in the state except in the night, from 11pm.

He also said that such vehicles, especially those carrying cement, iron rods and such other heavy duty vehicles should not use any state road, but should trans-load their goods. This, he explained, was because the resilience capacity of state roads are not as those of the federal roads.

The chief executive of Capital Oil Group, Dr Ifeanyi Ubah in his message, also prayed for the families who lost their loved ones and the injured in both the Onitsha and Lagos tankers tragedies, asking God to “grant the souls of the departed eternal rest and their families the fortitude to bear the loss.”

The national chairman of APGA, Chief Victor Umeh in his statement commiserated with the Anambra State Governor, Obiano, and the Delta State Governor, Dr Ifeanyi Okowa, on the shocking disaster.

“We regret the gruesome loss of lives following the accident, and pray the good Lord to condole the families of the deceased and receive their kind souls. We wish a speedy recovery to the living casualties of the incident,” he said.

The APGA candidate for the Aniocha/Njikoka/Dunukofia federal constituency in the just concluded general elections, Mr Dozie Nwankwo in his message to the families of the victims, urged them to bear it with fortitude. He prayed God to grant the departed an eternal rest, and their survivors enduring hearts.

The Onitsha monarch, HRM Igwe Alfred Nnaemeka Ugochukwu Achebe, in a statement through the palace secretary, noted that, “the Traditional Council expresses shock at the unfortunate incident that resulted in loss of many lives, injuries and destruction of properties and sends its profound condolences to the families of those who lost their lives in the incident.

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