Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in the 23 February presidential election and Vice President of Nigeria (1999-2007), Atiku Abubakar received with sadness and shock news of the fire disaster that took place in Onitsha on Wednesday, which claimed innocent lives, injured many and destroyed properties.
He commiserates with the families who may have lost loved ones in the unfortunate fire disaster and wishes the injured speedy recovery. He prays for the peaceful repose of the souls of the dead.
Atiku Abubakar, however, notes that these falling fuel tankers and the associated fire disasters like the one in Ontisha has become a recurring decimal that has led to great loss of lives and properties in different parts of our country in recent years.
He believes that we, as governments and the people, should rise with a sense of responsibility and obligation to think outside the box for solutions to save the precious lives of innocent Nigerians, safeguard properties and sustain economic growth and development.
Therefore, at this stage of our development and in the light of global technological advancement, there is need for overall rejig of our national haulage architecture and transport systems. We have urgent needs to exploit the transport, logistic and haulage opportunities in the modern rail system, inland water ways and pipeline transport.
It is imperative to also explore new and alternative sources of energy like the rest of the world are doing, to reduce our dependence on fossil fuel and its impact on the lives of our people and nation.
He calls for prosecution of individuals and organizations whose action or inaction may have led to these preventable tragedies to serve as deterrents even as he urges for the strengthening of legal framework to avert such incidents.