Ibadan, Jan. 12, 2018 (TNE) No fewer than 100 shops, equipment and goods worth millions of naira were on Friday razed at a section of Sango Plank Market in Ibadan.
Mr Abdul-Akeem Olanrewaju, the Chairman of Ibadan and Area Carpenters’ Association, Ibadan North Local Government Area, said that the fire was said to have started at about 2 am and could have razed the entire market and some surrounding houses but for the swift intervention of the Oyo State Fire Service.
The chairman did not rule out arsonists at work, adding that there is a law that every shop must close by 7 p.m.
“We have a task force that usually goes out on patrol at the close of the market to ensure that no electrical appliance or machine is left connected to power supply.
“We also have night guards. I don’t think this fire disaster was from power supply and our machines,” he said.
A victim, Mr Abdul-Azeez Dauda, said that he has lost everything in the market to the inferno.
“How do I survive? How do I pay the school fees of my children? How do we eat at home now? Honestly, I don’t know what to do. I need assistance,” he said.
Another victim, who craved anonymity, said he had been in the market for more 25 years, adding that there had never been a record of fire disaster at that section of the plank market.
“This is strange. At about 2 a.m., someone called me that the market was on fire and by the time I got here, the entire place had been razed. I am confused,” he said.
Mr Moshood Adewuyi, the Director of Oyo State Fire Service, told newsmen at the scene of the fire incident that the fire brigade was swiftly mobilised to the scene immediately a distress call was made to his office.
Adewuyi, who lamented the extent of damage, urged the traders to be careful with their working tools and abide by all safety procedures.
The Police Public Relations Officer in the state, SP Adekunle Ajisebutu, told newsmen that Mr Abiodun Odude, the Commissioner of Police, had visited the scene to assess the level of damage, while investigation is underway.