Traders at the popular Oba Market in Benin City, Edo State, have cried out for help following Monday’s fire incident which destroyed goods worth millions of naira.
The market located in Oredo local government area, was completed by the Social Democratic Party (SDP) led government of former Governor John Odigie-oyegun in the early 1990s.
The fire outbreak which reportedly started at 11:30 am, reduced half of the market to rubble.
Assorted goods, live animals- chicken and goats were burnt to ashes, not sparing Hamburger Line where clothes and cosmetics are sold.
Although firefighters later put out the inferno, which cause was yet to be ascertained at the time of this report but extensive damage had already been done.
The incident happened a few days after the traders were directed to return from the makeshift market to their respective market places. The fire was brought under control by the combined efforts of firefighters from the nigerian petroleum Development Company, Federal Fire Service, Nigerian Army School of Supply and Transportation, Benin, and Delta Fire Service, Oghara, Delta State.
A trader who is into clothing materials, Edith Amayo said she couldn’t salvage any of her wares as her shop was completely burnt.
“They called me around 1am that the market was on fire. On getting here, I could not salvage any of my goods.
Edith, who felt dejected when she saw her commodities completely burnt, appealed to the government and well-meaning Nigerians, to provide assistance.
Another trader, who simply identified herself as Habiba, said she lost goods worth millions of naira. The trader, who deals in cosmetics, said the fire consumed all her wares. According to her, immediately they opened the market last week, I decided to go to the market to stock my shops. Sadly, I have lost the only thing that I use to feed my family. I do not have anything in my store and all commodities burnt,” she lamented.
Speaking to newsmen, Karebo Samson, Assistant Controller General of the Federal Fire Service, said he received a distress call from the chief security officer attached to Government House in Benin and quickly swung into action.
“I had to call the men at the station and they got here very early. I cannot tell what caused the fire, we will send in our investigators so they can ascertain what actually caused the fire,” he said.