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VIDEO: I’m Not Sacked —Anambra Fire Chief-Martin Agbili


The embattled chief fire officer in Anambra State, Mr. Martin Agbili has dismissed insinuations that he has been sacked by the Governor Willie Obiano government following the disastrous fire incident in the commercial city of Onitsha.

Speaking to journalists on Friday, Mr. Agbili, fondly called Agility by his confidants, said the story of hs sack is not true as he is still going about his duty as the chief fire officer in the State.

Watch Agility speak on video posted by Nwabueze Harris on Saturday, October 19:

Posted by Nwabueze Harris on Saturday, October 19, 2019

Source had said that Mr Agbili was sacked following the fire incident that claimed at least three lives and destroyed properties worth billions of Naira.

The state governor, Mr. Willie Obiano, according to the source, sacked him after he paid a visit to the fire officer in the office late yesterday in Awka, the state capital.

Speaking about the sack, the source said “it is to save many who would be wasted by fire as a result of our lousy attitude to work this dry season.”

Fueling the speculation was a press release issued by the State Commissioner for Information and Public Enlightenment, C. Don Adinuba.

The statement reads:

Since the fire of Wednesday, October 16, 2019, which occurred when a tanker laden with petrol fell on Upper Iweka in Onitsha and led to a fire that spread up to Ochanja Market through the open drainage, a lot of people have been seeking from the government how they can assist the victims.

The government is grateful to these people and many others who are moved by the tragedy. Truly, we are brothers’ and sisters’ keepers.

Governor Willie Obiano has, therefore, opened a bank account to assist the fire victims. It is known as the Anambra State Victims Support Account. The account number is 5030105029, Fidelity Bank PLC.

It is to be administered by the distinguished sons and daughters of our state who serve as trustees of the Anambra State Security Trust Fund led by Chief Chidi Anyaegbu, MFR, Chairman of Chisco Group.

All Anambra indigenes, friends, in laws and well wishers are encouraged to give generously to our brothers and sisters who are now all of a sudden in dire need of assistance. Let us demonstrate, once more, our famed abundance of humanism.

Meanwhile, Governor Willie Obiano has initiated a move to grant the Anambra State Fire Service greater autonomy.

Subject to approval by the Anambra State House of Assembly, the law setting up the state Fire Service will be amended to make it independent of the state Ministry of Public Utilities or any other ministry.

The autonomy will free it from unnecessary bureaucratic encumbrances and enable it to respond more effectively to the challenges of its mandate.

Consequently, the agency will have as its Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Air Vice Marshall Ben Chiobi, mni, who is currently the Special Adviser to the Anambra State Governor on Creative Security as well as Coordinator of the Anambra State Integrated Security System.

Once again, Governor Obiano and, indeed, the entire Anambra State Government thank all Nigerians, including President Muhammadu Buhari, for their solidarity since the fire of October 16. Anambra State will always be the Light of the Nation. [End]

However, at least two sources, among them one of the several aides to Governor Obiano on new media, Nwabueze Harris, besides Agbili’s statement, have debunked the story, saying it is a false interpretation.

One of the sources, Mr. Onyemaobi Augustine of the Anambra State Association of Town Unions (ASATU) Youth Public Relations Department, in a telephone conversation with ElombahNews, dismissed the story.

He forwarded a statement issued by ASATU same day as follows:

Onitsha Fire: Governor Obiano Visits Anambra State Fire Service Command, Assures Of Revamp

As part of efforts to ascertain why the Onitsha fire couldn’t be quelled on time, Governor Willie Obiano visited the Anambra State fire service command headquarters in Awka.

The Governor was received by the Director of Fire Service in the State, Mr Martin Agbili, Commssioner for Public Utilities, Mr Emeka Ezenwanne.

After showing the Governor round the premises and some of their equipment, Mr Agbili briefed the Governor that they couldn’t arrive the scene on time because of a little failure, explaining that the closest fire fighters who would have made it to the scene, would have been the Onitsha main market unit, but they were unfortunately fighting fire elsewhere.

Mr Agbili stressed that even when the fire fighters got to the scene, people were initially chasing them, pointing out that his men managed to escape the scene.

In this disaster, Governor Obiano cannot be blamed neither do one need to crucify Eng. Agbili Martin. There might be bureaucracy mitigating against the fire Team. But this has been removed by the Governor now.

As I write 10 new fire trucks has been acquired by the governor and 120 recruits has been ordered for employment. Fire tunics were also procured as well as incentives.

A new outfit is in the making and will hit the state soon. Please encourage Agility he is doing a lot with what he has now. Believe he will do more with the new equipment.

Thus, from good authority we are happy to announce that contrary to the above information of dismissal of Our Fire Chief, a Colleague in Community Youth Leadership, one of our beaming light of hope in ASATU Youth, Agility our Former PRO , Ogbunka Youth President, that His Excellency, Chief Willie M. Obiano has reviewed and upgraded the entire status and capacity of the Anambra State Fire Service.

Sometimes blessings come in disguise with so much hard work and commitment, you just never know. Congratulations to you, Chairman Sir Egnr. Agbili Martin Agility! [End]

The attention of Mr. Onyemaobi was thereafter called to the statement by C. Don Adinuba as follows:

Consequently, the agency will have as its Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Air Vice Marshall Ben Chiobi, mni, who is currently the Special Adviser to the Anambra State Governor on Creative Security as well as Coordinator of the Anambra State Integrated Security System.

When asked by ElombahNews “Will we be talking about a new head if the first one is still on call?“, he answered:

“For instance, Anambra State Health Insurance Scheme launched last year is under an Agency, separated from the ministry of health, Anambra State Health Insurance Agency has her Chairman as Prof. Ilo Okafor, the former Vice Chancellor of Unizik but Simeon the Executive Secretary of the Agency runs the whole package.

“The position of a chairman of an Agency or board in Government parastatals does not remove the functionality of the administrator.

“Ben Chiobi is not a Safety Engineer but a Former security expert. His work is more ceremonial as the Director of State Fire Service is the operational head.

“M/D of a Bank runs the package while somebody seats on board as Chairman/Chief Executive Officer.

“Disregard the fake news,” he advised.

The other source, Nwabueze Harris, in a post on Facebook wrote:

Engr Agbili Martin — Agility was not sacked as people speculate.

It’s quite unfortunate that some people have turned social media space to “home for fake news”. It’s a pity!

Agility remains the Anambra State Fire Chief.

According to him, Governor Obiano has promised to breath in fresh air into Anambra State Fire Service following the ugly incidence. And that will make the job easier for the Firefighters.

New Fire Trucks, new official vehicles, recruitment into the agency and other welfare packages have all been ordered by the Governor.

Politicizing Anambra State Fire Service is not right in any way. That the agency is presently under APGA government doesn’t make it a political organisation. They works with any government that comes to power.

They previously worked with PDP government and now APGA.

It’s neither about PDP, APGA nor any other political party but, it’s about somebody that does what you cannot do (Firefighters).

I will advise we pray for the victims of the inferno and support the Survivors in any little way we can rather, than apportioning unnecessary blames and circulating fake news just to mislead the general public.


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