Governor Chukwuma Soludo of Anambra State has appointed a 9-man panel of inquiry, to look into the remote and immediate causes of the November 8, 2022, fire disaster at the Oniitsha Bridge head drug (Ogbogwu), market, Anambra State,
The inferno had claimed no fewer than eight lives while properties worth millions of naira were destroyed,
The panel, which has its name as, Fire Disaster and Kindred Matters Committee, is headed by a member of the Bridgehead market caretaker committee and former gubernatorial candidate of National Conscience Party, NCP, comrade Peter Okala, and secretary as Dr. Frank Udemadu, who was former secretary of Oniitsha Patient and Proprietory Medicine Dealers Association, OPPMDA.
The governor who made the appointment through the caretaker committee chairman of Oniitsha South Local Government Area, Hon. Emeka Orji, said that the committee has four weeks to present its report to the council chairman, for onward submission to the governor.
Making this disclosure to newsmen in Oniitsha Tuesday, comrade Okala, said that terms of reference included, establishment of remote and immediate causes of the inferno, quantity of lives and properties lost, advice to Government on how to avert future occurrence and emergency management in both the market and other markets in the State.
“The governor has through the Oniitsha South council chairman, Hon. Emeka Orji, appointed us, a 9-man Fire Disaster and Kindred Committee, to establish the remote and immediate causes of the explosion at the drug, (Ogbogwu) market, on November 8, 2022,
“Quantity of loss, human and material losses and advise Government on possible prevention means of future occurrence in both the market and others in the State. Also to advise it on emergency management.
“We are given four weeks to present our report to the caretaker committee chairman of Oniitsha South council area, Hon. Emeka Orji, who constituted us on behalf of His Excellency, Governor Soludo”, he revealed further.
He stated also that members of the committee composed of men of sterling qualities who are or have been market leaders at the Oniitsha Bridgehead market and have traded there over 30 years.
Okala named the members to include, comrade Peter Okala as chairman, Dr. Frank Udemadu, secretary, Chiefs Ikechukw Orizu, Donatus Ajanma, Samuel Nzeobi, Kelvin Ibelo, Nerus Nwanze, Ikenna Umeh and Chigozie Ezenwanne, as members.
He said that, “I see this appointment as selfless service to traders and humanity and as an opportunity to protect traders and government. We invite the Oniitsha. South Local Government Area caretaker committee chairman, Hon. Emeka Orji, to the site and inspect the ongoing work as this will assist us and make our work effective,” pleaded.