By Osaigbovo Iguobaro, Benin
A midnight fire outbreak occurred on Sunday at the popular Oba market in Benin City, Edo State Capital, destroying stock worth millions of Naira.
The cause of the inferno at the market which burnt the down floor and top floor of Amboga complex, had been without electricity for years, is yet to be ascertained.
But, the Chairman of Oredo Local Government Area of the State, Mr Jenkins Evbareke Osunde who paid on-the-spot assessment to the market on Monday morning, suspected a case of arson.
Osunde who sympathized with the affected traders, however thank God that no life was lost in the disaster.
The traders returned to the market last week after three months relocation to selected public schools compounds in the State for fumigation and decontamination by the State Government in a bid to prevent the spread of Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.
Federal Fire Service Zone K tweeted, “At about 1:00hrs this morning Men of Federal Fire Service Zone K Edo command turned out to combat a raging inferno at Oba market ring road Benin city Edo State. In attendance are Nigerian Army, Nigerian Air force, NPDC, and UNIBEN fire service.”
Security personnel attached to Oba market Division were on ground to prevent looting of shops by hoodlums.
Recall that part of Osa market in Oredo Local Government Area was burnt in December last year by suspected arsonists.
The State governor, Godwin Obaseki who accused political dissent of been responsible for incessant fire outbreaks in the State to discredit his administration, announced the sum of N100 million (One Hundred Million) compensation to the traders.
But, six months down memory Lane, the traders are yet to get the money after they were asked to compiled a list of the items that were consumed in the inferno and submit their bank details to the Management of Sterling Bank Plc.