No fewer than 200 shops and goods worth over N100 million were on Saturday, burnt in Ose Okwuodu food stuff market in Onitsha. The fire, according to an eyewitness, started at about 3a.m. Conducting newsmen round, Chairman of the market, Mr Sunday Ewulum, expressed sadness over the fire outbreak.
Ewulum said he was contacted about the disaster by security men stationed at the market at 3 a.m and added that men of the fire service from Okpoko and main market, Onitsha, as well as some traders, battled for hours to put out the fire to save the rest of the market.
The chairman said the affected sections of the market included tailoring materials, fish, wine, second hand-cloths, rice and yam.
He appealed to the Anambra Government and the State Emergency Management Agency to come to the aid of the affected traders.
The President of the Amalgamated Market Traders Association of Anambra State (AMATAS), Chief Okwudili Ezenwankwo, said the state government’s attention would be drawn to the plight of the affected traders.
Ezenwankwo noted that efforts were underway to educate the traders on the need to insure their goods.
He appealed to the government to set up a panel of inquiry to determine the cause of the fire.
Chairman of Onitsha North Local Government Area, Mr. Douglas Egbuna, described the incident as unfortunate and called on the affected traders to be calm.
Egbuna said government would investigate the cause of the fire.
Some of the affected traders, Mrs. Theresa Okoye, Mrs. Josephine Nnebuife and Mr. Peter Okonkwo, urged the state government, wealthy individuals and philanthropists to come to their aid. (NAN).