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CAC office, INEC HQ – five ‘mysterious’ fire outbreaks during lockdown

CAC office, INEC HQ – five ‘mysterious’ fire outbreaks during lockdown
April 18
12:37 2020

As Nigeria battles COVID-19, the trend of ”mysterious fire outbreaks” across the country is raising concerns.

Some government offices in the federal capital territory (FCT) have witnessed fire outbreaks.

In 19 days, many government institutions in the nation’s capital have not effectively functioned owing to a stay-at-home order by the president.

On March 29, President Muhammadu Buhari ordered a two-week lockdown of the FCT, Lagos and Ogun states to contain the spread of COVID-19.

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The president extended the lockdown by another two weeks in a broadcast on Monday following the increasing number of COVID-19 cases recorded in the country.

“This is not a joke. It is a matter of life and death,” he had said.

“Mosques in Makkah and Madina have been closed. The Pope celebrated Mass on an empty St. Peter’s Square. The famous Notre Dame cathedral in Paris held Easter Mass with less than 10 people.

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“India, Italy and France are in complete lockdown. Other countries are in the process of following suit. We cannot be lax.”

But in the lockdown, fire outbreaks have become rife. Properties at three government offices have been gutted, and these incidents have set tongues wagging.

There have also been fire incidents at a market in Oyo and at an internally-displaced-persons (IDPs) camp in Borno.

OFFICE OF ACCOUNTANT-GENERAL FIRE

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On April 8, Treasury House, a building housing the office of the accountant-general of the federation (AGF) was gutted by fire.

The building located on Samuel Ladoke Akintola boulevard at Garki area of the FCT suffered damage as a result of the fire.

But the Federal Fire Service put out the fire after about an hour.

Clem Agba, minister of state for budget, later told journalists that no financial record was lost in the inferno.

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CAC FIRE INCIDENT

Eight days later on April 15, firefighters were once again racing down to the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) headquarters in the Maitama district of Abuja.

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The fire outbreak was said to have been caused by an electrical fault from one of the air conditioners in the building.

Once again the firefighters saved the day, extinguishing the fire. But this was not the end.

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INEC FIRE INCIDENT

On April 17, the headquarters of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) was the next to record a fire outbreak  just two days after that of the CAC.

Oluwole Osaze-Uzzi, INEC director of publicity and voter education, said the fire only affected the office of the director of “election and party monitoring” in the building.

Ozaze-Uzzi said nothing vital was destroyed.

These events have raised questions regarding the maintenance culture of the civil servants in these offices. Details of the worth of the properties destroyed in the fire are still unknown.

DUGBE MARKET INFERNO

The same day the CAC fire incident happened, goods worth millions of naira were burnt in an inferno that swept through Dugbe market in Ibadan, Oyo state capital.

A spark from a welder’s shop was said to have ignited the fire. And after about two hours of raging, the inferno was extinguished.

”14 DIE” IN IDP CAMP FIRE

In another tragic event, an inferno reportedly claimed the lives of 14 people at an internally-displaced-persons (IDPs) camp in Ngala local government area of Borno state on April 16.

The shelter of the IDPs was also destroyed. The president later ordered a probe of the incident.

These fire incidents happened just within 10 days.

REACTIONS

Nigerians commenting on some of the incidents said there was more to the fire outbreaks than meets the eye.

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