By Sunny A. Ijomah
The Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development has been urged to ensure that the Federal Government provided immediate intervention to victims of the Onitsha tanker fire as promised by the Minister, Hajia Sadiya- Farouq.
Speaking to journalists on the issue, the State Chairman of the Nigeria Red Cross Society, Professor Peter Katchy also called on individuals, corporate organizations and other stakeholders to extend their assistance to the victims to ameliorate their plight.
Our correspondent reported that Professor Katchy said immediate financial and psycho-support would enable the victims pick up their source of livelihood and overcome psychological traumas and rebuild their confidence.
He urged the Federal Government to evolve a proactive fire fighting policy that would focus on effective prevention, capacity building and rapid response to emergencies.
He noted that with increasing high rising building in the country there is need to include use of helicopter and digital equipment to respond rapidly to emergencies in any part of the country to compliment and reduce the burden on states fire services.
Professor Katchy pointed out that drivers who mismanage fuel tankers and other articulated vehicles constitute violence to the general public and should be subjected to regular test competence, eye test and level of sanity while Federal Road Safety Corps and other security agencies should ensure that the drivers do not drive under the influence of intoxicants including alcohol and hard drugs.
In his reaction, a resident of Onitsha, Chief Iyke Ezenwa commended Governor Willie Obiano for his prompt response to the disaster and measures initiated to assist the victims.
Also speaking, another resident and trader, Mrs. Ada Okeke urged people of the State to see the plight of the fire victims as a collective responsibility.