From Uche Nnorom, Makurdi
Over 500 shops and goods worth hundreds of millions of naira were razed down by fire in the early hours of Monday at Otukpo Main Market in Otukpo local government area of Benue State.
An eyewitness, who identified himself as Ankeli Amanyi said that the inferno started around 5am yesterday.
Amanyi who decried the frequent fire outbreak at Otukpo Main Market, noted that this is the seventh time fire was ravaging the market in the past 20 years.
According to Amanyi, ‘the fire was noticed around 5.00am this morning (Monday) and it destroyed over 500 shops. No one could say for certain what caused the fire we just noticed thick smoke from the market which drew the attention of people to the area.
“Actually, the fire fighters responded promptly but there was little they could do to put out the fire. The magnitude of the market did not pave way for vehicle to enter the market
“This incident makes it the seven time the market is burning in the last 20 years, it happens after every two(2) to three(3) years”, he said.
The director, fire service in Benue State, Engineer Ikyaaza Donald who confirmed the fire incident, said that his men responded promptly to put out the inferno to avert further damage.
Meanwhile, Benue State Governor Samuel Ortom has sympathized with shop owners and all traders whose investments were affected by the fire and appreciates God that no life was lost.
The Governor is expected to personally visit the market on Tuesday 17 March,202 to ascertain the level of damage caused by the inferno.
In the same vein, Governor Samuel Ortom has sympathized with his Lagos State counterpart Babajide Sanwo-Olu as well as families of victims of the explosion which occurred in Abule Ado, Amuwo Odofin Local Government Area of Lagos, yesterday.
He described the incident which left some persons dead and many others injured as sad, unfortunate and shocking.
Governor Ortom urged relevant agencies to ascertain the cause of the explosion and make efforts to cushion the effect it has caused on those affected.