While an investigation has been opened to ascertain the real cause of the fire that razed more than four floors of the Ngoa Ekelle Glass House hosting the National Assembly in the night of November 16 breaking into the early morning of November 17, 2017, many questions are lingering on the lips of Cameroonians on how such a heavily guarded and important national edifice could succumb so easily to a fire.
Government spokesman and minister of communication, Issa Tchiroma Bakari while ruling out the presumption that the fire incident may be the result of arson attack, said all indicators point to the fact that this could have been caused by an electrical short circuit. He however called on Cameroonians to remain calm pending the results of the investigation.
His assessment of the fire incident, to many, left more questions than answers. Many conspiracy theorists have been quick to suggest that this was an insider job aimed at covering up some unwanted traces. Others also suggested that this might be the handiwork of a group of persons who have been responsible for arson attacks on public and private property mostly in the North West and South West regions of the country.
Another question regularly raised by the average Cameroonian and still begging for answers is why and how could such a structure be razed in the heart of the Nation’s capital which is supposed to host a good armada of firefighting equipment.
These questions and more will obviously be answered after the investigation is completed.
Meanwhile, work will continue unperturbed at the Lower House of Cameroon Parliament during this ordinary session dedicated to the examination and adoption of the 2018 state budget despite the fire incident.
The decision was taken last November 18, 2017 during a crisis meeting chaired by House Speaker, Hon Cavaye Yeguie Djibril as the dust is yet to settle over the fire incident which material damage is still to be quantified.
The House Speaker insisted that while waiting for results of the ongoing investigations into the cause of the fire incident, adjustments to facilitate the progress of work should be taken immediately so that the tabling, scrutiny and adoption of bills must be done within the stipulated deadline.
The crisis meeting was attended among other bureau members by SDF MP, Hon Awudu Cyprain Mbaya in his capacity as Questor. Shortly after the one hour crisis meeting consultation, they visited the affected parts of the building led by the House clerk, Victor Yene Ossomba to assess the damages.
The fire incident left the SDF Parliamentarians homeless as their Parliamentary Group office was burnt to ashes alongside other important offices.
It is worth noting that the accounting office was spared by the fire outbreak.
In a press statement read out by Senior Vice Speaker, Hon Hilarion Etong whose office was equally ravaged by the fire, it is explained that “work will continue so that the 2018 state budget be adopted within the legal time frame, that the House Chamber which was not hit by the fire will henceforth play host to plenary sessions and committee works.”
Culled from The Sun Newspaper
By ELAH GEOFREY & DOH JAMES SONKEY