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Fire razes Alẹṣinlọyẹ Market, Ibadan, Nigeria – Sunday Tribune

August 17, 2014

Nigeria

The Alesinloye Market in my adopted hometown of Ibadan in Southwest Nigeria was razed by fire Saturday destroying goods worth millions of Naira.  Even as smoldering of the fire was still burning, people who stood by were already wondering whether this was another ploy to drive small shop owners away and build a humongous market that would be unaffordable to the small traders that presently occupy the big market which was built in the 1980s to replace the old Dugbe Market in downtown Ibadan.  It is in the hands of the Oyo State Government.

Below is the story as  contained in The Sunday Tribune, the oldest Nigerian private newspaper and one of Nigeria’s most widely-read newspapers:  TOLA

 

Fire razes Ibadan market •Destroys multimillion naira goods  – Sunday Tribune

 

By Abiodun Awolaja, Dare Adekanmbi and Moses Alao

 

 

Traders at the Fancy Line section of the popular Alesinloye market in Ibadan South-West Local Government Area, on Saturday, condemned officials of the Fire Service Station located within the market for the heavy losses they suffered during a fire outbreak which happened on Friday.

The fire, which was said to have started at past 8p.m on Friday, ravaged hundreds of shops at the market, leaving goods worth hundreds of millions of naira completely destroyed.

Traders at the Fancy Line section of the market deal in baby wear, men and women’s underwear, jewellery and cosmetics, among others.

A trader, Mrs Saudat Osundare, said “The work of the fire service is terribly bad. If they need better pay, they should simply tell the government that.

“Anytime we call them, they would come with an empty truck, saying there is no water, so what is the benefit of having a fire station here?

“ I had just arrived home when I was told that the market was burning.

“I immediately came here, only to find my shop completely burnt down.

“If there had been water, it would not have got to my container.

“Governor Ajimobi should, please, come to our aid,’’ she said.

Another trader, Mrs Ajayi Abimbola, said “I was already at home when I got a call at a quarter after 9 p.m that Alesinloye was on fire.

My husband got here ahead of me at about 9.30 p.m., but by that time, my shop had been completely razed by the fire.

“The fire station people merely parked their tanker, and said that there was no water.

“As a matter of fact, the fire would have been more extensive but for the Igbo guys who were disconnecting wires from many shops.

“Government should help us, as this is becoming a regular occurrence at every 10-year interval.

“The government should help us to rebuild this market and also give us some money so that we can get our lives back,” she said she said.

Sunday Tribune was told that the fire may have been caused by high voltage when power was restored by the electricity distribution company on Friday night.

It was learnt that the traders selling soft drinks usually prefer to leave their refrigerator switched on, so that the drinks could be left chilled and attract better sales during the day.

Most of the traders have generating sets in their shops, where they also keep fuel, as a result of epileptic power supply.

.When Sunday Tribune visited the Fire Service Station, those within the office premises said the head of the unit who could speak on the incident was holding a meeting with the affected traders.

One of the fire service trucks was parked at the second gate area of the market, obstructing traffic.

However, when Sunday Tribune went back to the section of the market ravaged by the fire in search of the said official, the traders vehemently denied holding any meeting with officials of the fire service station, saying that the claim was a pure distraction.

A visibly angry Igbo trader who simply identified himself as Lucky, said “The fire started at past 8 p.m. and the fire service men were immediately called upon, but they did not arrive until about 9.30 p.m.

“They said there was no water. Eventually when they brought water, they said there was no chemical in the water, so the fire continued to destroy our shops.

“Nobody is holding any meeting with us. It is a lie,” he said.

Meanwhile, the wife of the Oyo State governor, Mrs Florence Ajimobi, has symphatised with traders at the market over the loss they suffered in the fire outbreak that ravaged the market.

In a statement signed by her Special Assistant on Media, Yejide Gbenga-Ogundare, Mrs Ajimobi said she shared in the traders’ pain over the loss of multimillion naira goods in the disaster, praying that God will comfort and strengthen them.

She said although such a disaster was a setback, God in his infinite mercies would raise divine help for all those affected by the fire incident.

“This is indeed a sad occurrence which has negatively affected the lives of many families, their economy and the economy of the state.

“However, I pray that God will meet everyone affected at the point of their needs and help them recover every loss.

“We feel their pains and understand what they are going through, it is our sincere prayer that this unfortunate incident will not cripple their businesses.

Also, the Oyo State chapter of the PDP has condoled with traders at the Alesinloye market who lost goods and properties to the fire incident, praying that “God will comfort them and replenish their losses in the unfortunate incident.”

The Publicity Secretary of the party, Mr Kehinde Salawu, who stated this yesterday in a statement made available to newsmen, also called on the people of the state to continue to pray for traders in the market and other popular markets in the state over the fire outbreak.

SUNDAY, AUGUST 17, 2014.  5:02 p.m. [GMT]

 

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