Governor Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State has commiserated with the families of those who were burnt to death at the Molete area of the state capital, praying that God will grant the repose of their souls.
Ajimobi made this known while speaking with journalists on Sunday morning at the scene of the inferno.
A tanker driver had somersaulted in the area on Saturday night beside the Molete bridge, pouring its content in the process.
The resultant inferno resulted in the death of many people, many of whom were traders beside the bridge.
Governor Ajimobi, who arrived the venue at about 8 in the morning, was visibly shaken by the gory sight of the inferno. Accompanied by the state commissioner of Police, Mr. Kola Sodipo, he was conducted round the scene of the inferno.
Ajimobi ordered that a crane should be brought immediately to take the carcass of the tanker which had crossed the road from obstructing traffic on the road.
While speaking with journalists, Ajimobi commiserated with the families of the dead and enjoined them to take solace in the fact that death will come when it will.
He said that many who sought to take political advantage out of his administration’s genuine love for the people of the state, especially traders who traded on the streets, must have seen the danger of politicizing genuine government policies.
“As I came here this morning, gentlemen of the press, you yourselves could hear statements from the crowd that gathered here. They keep shouting ‘And Ajimobi had warned us off street trading o!’ The problem we have is that politicians seek to profit from the lives of the people. Our administration has genuine love at heart for our people. This is manifesting itself gradually and our people themselves can see that love,” he said.
The governor was told that the bulk of those who lost their lives were traders who refused to move to the nearby Scout Camp market which had over a thousand stalls with modern conveniences constructed by the state government and given to the traders free.
“I sympathize with the dead and their families. This will show our love for the people of the state in our desire to stop street trading. I learnt that a few days ago, another trailer veered off the road at Mobil area and hit the MTN building. If it had been before now when street traders gathered at the Mobil area, I imagine the number of casualties we would have been talking about,” he said.
According to him, government had seen through the hazards posed by street trading, stating that it was why the state government made it a kernel of its urban renewal exercise.
“Apart from vehicles that skid off the road killing our people, high tension wires also get cut and kill our people selling their wares by the road sides. Our people should not listen to evil politicians who mislead them. They should support us to fight the menace of street trading. We love our people genuinely by asking them to leave the road and we will not allow evil politicians to profit from this genuine love by misleading our people,” he said.