The Muslim Public Affairs Centre (MPAC) has sent a message of condolence to victims of the Ochanja Market fire outbreak in Onitsha, Anambra State, saying “Our thoughts and prayers are with you”.
The condolence is contained in a press statement, signed by Abdulwarees Solanke, the Director, Media & Strategic Communications of MPAC and made available to The Renaissance on Saturday in Lagos.
“We extend our deepest sympathies to the victims of the Ochanja Market, Onitsha, Anambra State fire outbreak that occurred on Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2019
“We mourn the loss of innocent lives in this national tragedy and feel deep sadness at the human injuries and loss of properties.
“We pray that Almighty Allah will heal the wounds and grant you and your families the strength to bear the loss.
“May Allah provide comfort and peace to our brothers and sisters to get through the days and years ahead.
“We can imagine what the victims and their families are feeling right now. As such, we urge the national, state, local governments, religious and humanitarian groups to direct or increase efforts to bring relief and aids to the victims and their families.
“It is important that we show solidarity and support to our fellow citizens at a time like this – in our thoughts, prayers, cash and kind.
“We urged the Muslim community in the affected area to champion response and humanitarian efforts towards the victims and their families as well as be at the forefront of any rehabilitation efforts in the future.
“Doing these with sincerity will be following the footsteps and clear examples of the Prophet (PBUH) At a time like this and at other times, we must consider rendering assistance, donating blood to save lives, kind words, any act of compassion and providing temporary shelter for the victims as part and parcel of our rights to our neighbours.
“In the Qur’an God, enjoins the following:
“Then We sent Our messengers in their footsteps and followed them with Jesus, the son of Mary, and gave him the Gospel. We placed in the hearts of those who followed him kindness and mercy.” [Surah Al-Hadeed 57:27]
And in the hadith, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was reported to have said:
“The believer is gracious, for there is no goodness in one who is neither kind nor friendly.” [Musnad Ahmad 8945, Grade: Sahih]
MPAC also call on the Anambra State Government to critically look into the root causes of the fire outbreak and the allegations of the failure of the Anambra Fire Service in responding swiftly to a major incidence.
“It is the responsibility of the government and it’s agencies to prioritise public safety and be fully prepared to respond to a major incident like this in order to prevent recurrence and save innocent people from further pains and losses.”
By Our correspondent