Seyi Makinde, governor of Oyo, says he takes responsibility for the fire incident that razed Akesan market, Oyo town.
Speaking when he visited the scene of the incident and at the palace of the Lamidi Adeyemi, alaafin of Oyo, Makinde said the state government would rebuild the market and offer assistance to all the traders who lost their goods.
The market is said to have been in existence for 400 years.
Makinde said rather than engage in blame-trading over the failure of the past administration to provide necessary fire-fighting tools, he would take responsibility for the failure of the system.
Taiwo Adisa, chief press secretary to Makinde, quoted the governor as saying an investigative panel had already been set up to look into cause of the inferno.
“I must, at this point, express my deep sadness over the loss of lives and property because of the various fire outbreaks in Oyo State. This is deeply regretted. Of course, things happen that signal the failure in our system,” Makinde said.
“I swore to an oath to protect the lives and property of everyone living within the borders of this State, so I take full responsibility for this failure and promise that I will make things right.”
Makinde also said the process for the procurement of additional 10 fire-fighting trucks to boost fire-fighting services in the state had commenced.
He asked residents to be safety-conscious regarding prevention of fire outbreaks considering the current weather condition.
“I learnt that the caretaker chairman of this local government already has the record of all the traders here. We will look at that record so that we can support the victims of the incident. And I am also making the commitment that we will rebuild this market and, by the grace of God, this place will become more beautiful than before,” he said.
“So, I urge you to be calm for us to do what is needful. We will rebuild this market as quickly as possible with your cooperation.”
“We will give the architect that will redesign the place and mobilise workers to the site as quickly as possible. We are doing this because one of the cardinal programmes of this administration is to expand the economy without leaving any zone behind. And we know that this market is huge as far as the economy of Oyo zone is concerned. So, we will pay due attention to the matter.
“Let me say, once again, that I am not the type that will shift responsibility. Of course, some people for eight years did not acquire any fire truck for the fire service department of the State. I am not shifting responsibility but taking full responsibility for what has happened.”