A Message to the Gambian Ambassador Through the Lens of the Bronx Apartment Fire. Part I
As strange as it may sound, Mr. Ambassador has become a vital link for bringing good governance news to the rest of the world.
In the aftermath of the January 9 tragedy in the Bronx, my attention was drawn to the presence of the Gambian Ambassador Dawda Docka Fadera. I saw the Ambassador through the Lens of the Bronx’s apartment inferno. I quickly thought of letting him transmit the lessons he learned from the NYC officials’ exemplary handling of the Bronx fire to our African leaders and others in the group worldwide who don’t care about their people’s welfare.
Excellency, what you experienced in New York is an example of good governance in action. It is the way a state, a country should function.
For all intents and purposes, and to be clear, being an ambassador has nothing to do with running or governing a country. Nevertheless, I believe that divine providence made it possible for the Ambassador to feature in this article. Were it not for the horrible event that led to the loss of innocent lives, it would have been the perfect moment to send a signalbackhome.
Despite the tragic situation, it is still necessary to transmit a strong message through the Ambassador to the Gambian authorities. And why not, to other African leaders, likewise to any country’s leader globally who fails to practice good governance. The lesson notwithstanding has to do with the unique performance of NYC officers, a study from which they got to learn.
Before I proceed, and the fact that all lives matter and are valued equally, my heartfelt condolences to all the families who have lost loved ones in recent years. Lives were lost to various causes due to fire, violent storms, inclement weather, wars, famine, locust swarms, earthquakes, floods, landslides, and Bushfires — with California topping the list and the recent Colorado fire left many displaced.
The experience of coronavirus in 2020 made it the deadliest year one may not like to remember or to have lived. Additionally, in the past several months and years, numerous natural disasters and human-caused calamities have brought untold human suffering, including billions of dollars in financial losses.
January 9, One of the Darkest Days in New York State History
Among the darkest days of 2022 will be the Bronx fire inferno of Sunday, January 9. The fire and the intensity of the smoke, coupled with human errors, caused the death of 17 people, including eight children. In addition, the incident injured 63 people and sent 32 to hospitals with life-threatening conditions.
The NYC Formidable Team of Hope
I salute the nearly 200 hundred firefighters who sacrificed everything to save lives. First responders were on the ground to ensure the situation was handled properly. Even though she was not physically present, the Governor of New York, Kathy Hochul, communicated with the team through Twitter.
In addition, the capable Mayor Eric Adams was around the clock with his team, and the New York City Fire Department commissioner, Daniel Nigro, was also paying rapt attention to any detail of his highly trained officials. The Gambian Ambassador Dawda Docka Fadera was also visible during his speech.
All hands were on deck as it affected Christina Farrell, first deputy commissioner for emergency management, the Bronx Borough President Vanessa Gibson, the Schools Chancellor David Banks, and the American Red Cross as they visited the scene. In addition, I would like to express my respect and appreciation to many others not named here.
How New York City Officials’ Impressed the World
With all honesty, the New York City officials proved to the rest of the world that one could utilize their knowledge and capacity to the most significant benefit of society. They only had the will do so. After all, the saying goes, “Where there’s a will, there’s away.” With what I’ve experienced these past few days, New York City officers have the way because they’ve got the will.
All hands were on deck from the City officials and the Gambian Ambassador on whom I kept a close watch, possibly because of the message I wanted him to transmit to his boss and others back home. So, I took note as they made speeches and addressed the press in this order except for the governor, who tweeted to communicate.
From Gov. Kathy Hochul to
- The Mayor Eric Adams
- The Federal Rep. Ritchie Torres
- The Bronx Borough President — Vanessa Gibson
- The Fire Fighter Commissioner Daniel Nigro
- The Gambian Ambassador
Lastly, the organization, coordination, and execution were flawless. Visits to hospitals, schools, and the short and long-term future planning, including the welfare of the injured, meeting with educators, and learning about the story behind each of those students who lost their lives, show the human side of these officials.
The visiting, testing and reviewing of tall buildings’ facilities to prevent future disasters cannot be overemphasized. As far as the State projects are concerned with the fire crisis, many undertakings are still on. Part II of this article would throw more light on those left-out plans, including other ancillary and school programs where some of the affected children we lost were attending and the federal connection.
The Gambian Ambassador should take note and communicate it to his government for all the aforementioned reasons. And, as a matter of great concern, let all African and other leaders worldwide who neglect the welfare of their people also take a good note of how a country is run by putting first the burning issue of their people’s well-being.
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