Traders lose N150m to inferno, seek SEMA’s assistance

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Victims of the fire disaster that gutted some lock-up shops at Oja-Oba market, in Ado Ekiti have appealed to the State  Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) to come to their aid for relief materials.

In a letter dated June 20, 2018, signed by the victims and addressed to the General Manager of SEMA, the victims appealed for help from government and well-meaning Nigerians as the only way they could return to market and begin trading.

Some traders operating  within the premises of  Oja-Oba market had on Tuesday, lost property worth about N150 million to inferno when the 30 lock-up shops, located opposite the popular  Bisi Market in  Ado Ekiti metropolis.

The fire, eyewitnesses said, suddenly surged at about 7.30 pm on Tuesday and gutted the entire building owned by Governor Ayodele Fayose’s Chief of Staff, Chief Dipo Anisulowo.

The building was formerly used by a new generation bank before being converted to a market stall for traders.

The traders, numbering 30, who were operating under the aegis of Ekiti State Youth Traders’ Association, linked the incident to alleged arson by unknown persons.

Recounting how the incident happened, the Chairman of the association, Opeyemi  Fakayode, said the fire started at about 7.30 pm when the security guard had already arrived.

He said some of the property could have been salvaged by men of  Fire Services, but for lack of water in the fire- fighting tanker, adding that the other vehicle that could have helped the situation suddenly developed fault upon arriving the scene.

“We suspected arson because one of the window’s blade had bent, meaning that someone must have done that for sinister intention. We suspected that, that was where they used, to set the building on fire. It could not have been electrical problem, because our light had been disconnected before the incident. Even the fuse of the generating set we were using collectively was intact and was put on neutral , which we believed could not have sparked fire”, he said.

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