With heart full of sorrow, the publisher, Editorial Board and the entire management and staff of Ika Weekly Newspaper, wish to commiserate with the victims of the Friday 22nd January, 2021 explosion in a gas plant at Agbor, Ika South Local Government Area of Delta State, which left about twenty persons dead and many others hospitalised.
As noted in our earlier publication, it was indeed a Black Friday for the people of Ika nation.
Again, while we fervently pray and sincerely hope that God grants peaceful repose to those that lost their lives and fortitude to bear the irreparable loss be given to those they left behind, the News Organization is particularly pained by the fact that this is one incident that its pain was deepened by the awareness that it was avoidable.
Also, at this trying moment of our existence, we commiserate with the Executive Governor of the state, Senator (Dr.) Ifeanyi Okowa over the incident.
Most specifically, the Newspaper condoles with our revered royal father, the Dien of Agbor kingdom, His Royal Majesty, Dr. Benjamin Ikechukwu Keagborekuzi 1. The newspaper feels how you feel. As no king/leader will be happy seeing his subject die in a gruesome manner such as fire.
However, it is our view that you take solace in two major realities.
On the one hand is our Christian faith which promises eternal rest for those that died in Christ Jesus. The second has to do with African epistemology which views life as an endless circle of transitions and transitional ends. In our culture, as we are well aware, life is but a repetitive circle of birth, death, and rebirth/reincarnation. The dead are not dead. They are alive and participate in the life of the living but in different form and manner.
Away from dirge to ingrained lessons domiciled in this incident of the past week.
Among many, the gas explosion has revealed three major observations that should be a source of worry to every well-meaning Ika sons and daughters. Going by commentary, it has been established that in the whole of Agbor as a city and Ika nation by extension, there is no firefighting van and other necessary equipment relevant for emergency management/saving of lives.
The second has to do with the new awareness that Agbor General Hospital is ill equipped with needed manpower and medical consumables expected of a modern hospital. The third and very fundamental issue is that the gas explosion has further exposed regulatory challenges in the state.
While Ika nation mourns, we urge our Governor and son, Senator (Dr.) Ifeanyi Okowa to look into, and address these observations made as a way of forestalling such mindless waste of lives and property in the state.