Avoidable disaster for the working people!
Successive governments at all Levels
The Oyo State Chapter of Socialist Party of Nigeria, (SPN) expresses its condolence to relatives and friends of people who lost their life and valuable properties during the fire incident occasioned by the explosion of an heavily loaded petrol tanker which reportedly fell at Molete area of Ibadan, the Oyo State capital in the early hours of Saturday, 11th October, 2014.
SPN maintains that the fact that most victims are poor people particularly the road side traders shows that street trading across the state is still predominant and on the rise. This is an indication of the failure of all the successive governments in the state including the current APC-led administration to improve the quality of life of the working people in the state.
It will be recalled that no fewer than 15 persons including a mother and two of her children were reported killed on Saturday morning during the petrol tanker explosion at Molete area in Ibadan while millions of properties which comprises of 45 shops, 13 vehicles, three houses, seven commercial motorcycles and three commercial tricycles were among the properties that were destroyed.
SPN strongly holds that this incident and its blood sucking consequences could have been avoided if successive government in the state as well as past and present federal govt. including the current APC-led administration had at different period planned and massively invested the huge resources at their disposal to improve the state of public infrastructure many of which are currently dysfunctional and in many cases non-existence.
The mere fact that tankers, most of which are in bad shapes, are used to transport petroleum products from one bad road to another indicates how unsafe and backward this adopted means of transportation has become. The government at the state and federal level must begin to connect oil pipes across the federation for the purpose of safely transporting petroleum products from one place to another while effective train system should be put in place to augment the well placed pipes as well as reconstructionof all bad roads.
The decay in the state owned fire service is legendary! Despite the vast water resources in the state, the sector often lack water to work with. There are several examples of situations where the vehicle could not work either owing to lack of petrol or mechanical fault. These are additions to continuous denial of workers in the sector of their democratic rights and incentives like living wage which usually undermines their zeal and morale for effective service delivery.
Every successive government in the state has failed to build low cost public market places capable of accommodating the growing rate of traders in the state since 1983 when the late Chief Bola-led administration built sizable numbers of low cost markets which created a successful opportunity to relocate thousands of poor traders who were engaging in street trading at that time.
That no fewer than 15 roadside traders lost their lives in this unfortunate fire accident is an indication of the inadequacy of the so-called scout camp market reportedly built by the Senator Ajimobi-led administration in its bid to appease the public cries that greeted the demolition of shops and destruction of valuable goods belonging to poor traders under the pretense of urban renewal policy without prior compensation or provision of alternative.
Beyond calling for adequate compensation for victims of this avoidable fire incidents, SPN also demand that government should give priority to putting in place conducive environment like building affordable and well equipped market stalls, mechanic villages etc., for artisans to enhance their activities. SPN equally calls for the implementation of living wage for civil servants as well as massive creation of gainful employment opportunities with rights to living wage and union right for millions of teeming youths in the state who are without jobs. This is against the prevailing “empowerment schemes” like the Oyo Youth Employment Scheme (OYES) where youths are placed on irregular salary of meager N10, 000 per month aside imposition of N2, 000 tax while workers are denied the right to belong to a union of their choice.
Bamigboye Abiodun (Abbey Trotsky)
State Secretary, SPN Oyo State Chapter08033914091