4 January 2016

Nigeria: Fire Guts Yola Market

The Yola market in Adamawa state was on Monday razed and property worth billions of naira lost in the process.

The inferno was believed to have consumed about 90 percent of shops.

A witness said the fire started at about 2:30 a.m. and went out of control as initial efforts to put it out was stymied by lack of access roads in the market.

A shop owner, Babayola Maijimilla, whose shop was also razed, said, "The fire started around the middle of the market. Efforts by early sympathizers to extinguish it was rebuffed by security operatives who denied them access into the market for fear of looting.

"But the situation did not get better even upon the arrival of fire fighters who found it difficult to gain access to the point of the inferno as the market did not have access roads."

Some of the affected shop owners interviewed said they lost everything they toiled for in life and called on the government to come to their aid.

The Chairman, Adamawa Traders Association, popularly called Gamzaki Traders Association, Ibrahim Mohammad, appealed to the Federal, State and Local Governments to come to their aid, saying they lost 90 percent of their shops to the inferno.

The Adamawa State Deputy Governor, Martins Babale ,who was among the early callers at the market, said the government will assess the extent of damage with a view to knowing the level of intervention it will give.

Mr. Babale called on the National Emergency Management Agency, corporate organizations and wealthy individuals to come to the aid of the marketers and cushion their sufferings.

Similarly, the Speaker, Adamawa State House of Assembly, Kabir Mijinyawa, in whose constituency the market is situated, called on the marketers to be patient as government assesses the level of damage.

He urged them to see the incident as an act of God and promised to do everything in his capacity to ensure the marketers get succour from the government.

The Adamawa State Commissioner of Police, Ghazzali Mohammed, said he has deployed a number of police officers to provide security and prevent hoodlums from looting property.

He said the effort has yielded results as a number of looters were arrested.

The Executive Secretary Adamawa State Emergency Management Agency, Haruna Hammanfuro, said the fire incident was the worst of its kind in the history of the market.

He said his agency was yet to quantify the extent of damage done to properties, although no life was lost.


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