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Fire razes Imo governorís lodge

Posted by By VAL OKARA, Owerri on 2007/06/09 | Views: 733 |

Fire razes Imo governorís lodge


Imo State governorís lodge, known as Douglas House, was on Thursday completely razed by an afternoon inferno. Three children of the governor, Chief Ikedi Ohakin, were said to be inside the lodge when the fire started.

Imo State governorís lodge, known as Douglas House, was on Thursday completely razed by an afternoon inferno. Three children of the governor, Chief Ikedi Ohakin, were said to be inside the lodge when the fire started.

The fire, which razed the lodge, where the new governor resided with his family, was said to have started at about 2:30 pm. The cause of the fire is yet to be ascertained, but the state government suspects sabotage.

When Daily Sun visited the complex, men from the state fire service were battling to put out the fire even as there was a heavy rain.
Briefing newsmen on the incident, the acting Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Chief Chris Okewulonu, said government could not rule out sabotage, describing the incident as an unfortunate development.

He stated that a panel of inquiry would be set up to get to the root of the matter even as some domestic staff of the state governor, who were present at the time of the inferno, have been picked by security agents for interrogations.
Okewulonu said the incident was a huge loss to the state government and the people of the state, assuring that the government was determined to unravel the cause of the incident.
Said he: "The situation is quite sad, an unfortunate development that the only relics left by the colonial masters has gone into flame. The entire house has been razed completely by fire. Everything in the house was gone.

"We cannot rule out sabotage. There was act of sabotage on the whole exercise. It is not the case of power outage. Desperate politicians may be responsible for it. Government will get to the root of the matter and investigations have already begun."
The SSG, who slammed men of state fire service for failing to rise to the occasion, said that their efforts were not enough considering the huge resources invested in the department by the state government.
The governor's lodge was gutted by fire in 2003, which necessitated the former governor, Chief Achike Udenwa, to relocate to Douglas House. The lodge had played host to dignitaries who visited the state in the past, including former presidents, state governors and other political heavy weights.

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