Fire Guts Gombe Main Market Shops

Fire Guts Gombe Main Market Shops

A raging inferno in the early hour of yesterday gutted 25 shops at the Gombe Main Market.

Witnesses account said the fire, which lasted for four hours, started around 1:45am.

They added that 25 shops were razed.

Chairman of the Market Traders’ Association, Alhaji Uba Abdullahi, told reporters that surge in electricity supply was responsible for the inferno when electricity supply was restored to the market.

He estimated properties destroyed to be in the region  N50 million.

According to him, mostly affected by the inferno were tailors, dealers of plastic items and hides and skin traders among others.

 “We are lacking proper street layout in the market, which made it difficult to get easy access to the shops during emergency like fire outbreak,”  Abdullahi noted.

But, Governor Samuel Ortom yesterday donated N50 million to the victims of fire which gutted the multi-million naira modern market in Makurdi, the Benue State capital, for the third time.

The market was built by the late first civilian Governor Aper Aku.

The governor also set up a commission of Inquiry to unravel the circumstances behind the inferno, which destroyed two blocks containing 200 shops. He said the fire incident was one too many.

He told traders that he came to sympathise with them for losing goods worth billions.

Ortom told them to be strong and trust in God as no life was lost.

He also lifted the suspension of union activities in the market.

Secretary of Board of Trusties of the market Emeka Ofeogbu told the governor that the fire started after traders closed by 5:30pm.

He said the traders are worried that despite the presence of hordes of security personnel in market no one could identify the cause of the fire.

The Makurdi fire, according to a trader, James Ekeson, started at about 6:30pm.

Ekeson said the market usually closed at about 5:30p.m and no trader is allowed behind.

He added that his two shops with goods worth N5 million were consumed by the inferno.

Another victim, Mrs. Chika Chukwu, told The Nation that she took delivery of goods from Lagos on Sunday and Monday.

Chukwu, who sells bags and shoes, said she could not quantified goods lost in the inferno. She appealed to the government to assist her financially to start all over again.

Source: The Nation

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