President Muhammadu Buahri is described by many has ‘baba go slow‘ due to his ‘meticulous’ howbeit slow pace of responding or reacting to some issues of national concern.
However, the President disappointed those set of people when he swiftly reacted to the Katsina central market fire which destroyed goods and properties worth millions of Naira on Monday morning.
Just hours after the fire was contained, the President Buhari released a statement through his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu expressing sadness over the fire in Katsina Central Market.
Reacting to the incident, President Buhari described the destruction visited by the fire as “horrific and said he was extremely sad to hear the tragic news about the fire.
The statement concluded “I have instructed concerned authorities to provide all possible assistance urgently.”
This is not in anyway to sound insensitive to traders and shop owners who lost properties in the fire, but the President’s quick reaction remains a surprise as he can not be credited with such on many occasions in the past
Just over the weekend, there was an assissination attempt on Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue on Saturday but the Presidency did not send any word of comfort or reassurance or any reaction at all until Sunday evening.
Apart from the Ortom incident, there are so many similar fire outbreaks to that of the Katsina central market fire that did not illicit a swift reaction from the President until three days after. Some were, as a matter of fact not even mentioned by the Presidency at all.
Just two weeks ago on 4th March, an early morning fire destroyed goods and properties worth millions of Naira at Amobi plastic market, Onitsha, Anambra.
On 3rd of March, goods worth millions of naira were razed in an inferno that gutted some shops at Sabo market, Oyo town
62 traders, 28 households as well as goods and properties worth billions of Naira were affected in a Lagos market fire at Ijesa Market on 17th January.
On 27th December 2020, the popular Ketu plank market was gutted by fire with goods and services worth billions of Naira was well destroyed but no one lost his life in the incident.
Perhaps it was an oversight not to commiserate with the traders who lost goods in the other markets or perhaps the Presidency has improved its reaction time to such incidents, we will keep watching.
Our thoughts are with those who lost their valued wares and in some cases entire savings to the Katsina fire.