Those who’ve been to the Ebeano supermarket in Abuja say it is massive but On July 17th, 2021, the store went up in flames and the fire was reported to have raged for more than a day.
This, as we are all now aware, was arson, committed by a 9-year-old.
If you’ve seen the video, you will have no doubts as to who lit the fire; she went straight to that section of flammables; ignited the combustible section filled with gas cylinders and in minutes, a fire began that would rage for more than 16 hours. Why was there no one monitoring the CCTV?
In the CCTV video, you can even see her watching to see that it had ignited; satisfied that her handiwork had produced results, she skipped away.
A 9 year old?
-Hours later, we read that the fire had consumed goods worth N3billion!
-Let me also add that some thirty or more families also lost their sources of income;
-A property owner also incurred debts running into several millions;
-And a girl of 9 years just lost her innocence…(she won’t remain “innocent,” especially now that she has been caught)
So at the end of the day, Ebeano isn’t the only one who has lost something, several people are also casualties, thankfully, no fatalities…yet.
There’s something we need to learn here.
Let’s assume Ebeano, big super store that it is, with massive branches pan-Nigeria had not ONLY installed CCTV cameras round its stores…to stem the spate of stealing either by customers or even staff, a cankerworm many supermarkets face…but had also thought to install smoke detectors and sprinklers especially as they stock highly flammable items?
What would have happened here? That child would’ve been thoroughly disappointed at the outcome.
Why? Because shortly after the fire started, the smoke detector would have gone off activating the sprinklers immediately.
The fire would not only have been doused but immediately alerted the management or security personnel of Ebeano stores to the spot where the fire had started…there would be damage, because there were gas cylinders and other flammables, all stocked together but the damage would not have run into millions.
And yes, a few other items would be sodden from the water but the whole store would not have been consumed by the fire.
This now brings me to a question agitating my mind: did Ebeano insure the store against fire…the seemingly most unlikely scenario to imagine in Nigeria. (Or did someone say fire, ke, lailai it is not our portion, so no need for insurance, God dey) But we’ve seen what happened when #EndSars was hijacked by hoodlums; we still have the images of looted stores from Adeniran Adesanya in Surulere to all the Cacovid warehouses pan Nigeria.
I hear someone say, insurance, in Nigeria? No!
But consider this, if Ebeano had insured its store, again, its loss wouldn’t be this huge. Sure, that kind of premium will seem like a huge waste of money annually considering the burden of theft and damaged goods that may already weigh against it, still, insurance offers a soft landing for incidents no one sees coming.
But we learn every day.
If the CCTV hadn’t caught the girl, a lot of postulations would still be made to date as to the cause of the fire; a few innocent people could also have been blamed for the fire and perhaps, even jailed.
Who owns this fine 9-year-old girl?
Where did she come from?
Who instructed her?
On social media, two women were named as people behind her-her mother and her sister. So far these have remained nameless; if indeed these were behind the fire, how will they pay for the damages they have caused?
What was the motive for the fire?
A revenge mission?
What ill were they trying to avenge?
What will atone for this loss?
The Bible says the heart of man is desperately wicked…I hope in the coming days we will know why this was done and if it can be justified. We will know if they can atone for this and we will know whether that 9-year-old can still remain a child after this.