Somebody help! There’s fire on the mountain and all we see are commiserations

Between January 7 and January 10, 30 fire cases were reported in Osun, and 39 in Lagos state. This is outside of recent outbreaks in Edo were about 3 markets were allegedly burnt down and the most recent inferno at Akesan market in Oyo town where lives were reported lost.


Naturally, tangible materials were lost; along with the building where the fire razed, goods running up to millions of naira didn’t escape destruction and while no lives were said to be lost, these incidents are sad to hear of and undoubtedly more devastating for people who had to live through them.


Nigeria has a relatively lax attitude towards safety and taking preventative measures seriously. Because of the social condition we find ourselves, people are wont to adopt improvisations that are more often than not risky and for all the commiseration and sympathy the government express when these risky measures result into ghastly situations, there seems to be little done in fixing the social ill that prompted these measures in the first place or even raising strong awareness around preventative measures.

Infiltrating every avenue where Nigerians are most likely to receive information including but not limited to billboards, banners, television, social media and even creating task forces charged with the responsibility of encouraging people to avoid situations that might put their lives in danger would surely shift this trend. For a host of Nigerians, the idea of putting out the lights after use still doesn’t seem like an urgent behavior to take up. People can still be found storing gallons of petrol in their houses to be sold at black markets prices or for uses that aren’t always immediate. Gas cylinders turned on and in use can also be found in public areas where they can easily come in contact with fire triggers.

This is not to blame people who are simply trying to make ends meet in a country that has almost no regard for the welfare of its’ people, but if we must live long enough to see things possibly change, we as a people, who are aware in some way, must do our best to educate others and be active in our precautionary steps against fire incidents.

However, a good proportion of the responsibility rests with the government, as they hold more power in trust for the people, apparently. Also, equipping fire agencies and making their accessibility easy for people who need them while increasing sensitization around fire outbreaks and how to avoid them would save more lives and properties.

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