John Adams, Minna
An early-morning inferno on Friday razed parts of Minna modern market in Niger State, destroying goods worth over N500 million.
The inferno destroyed over 100 shoos before it was put out by the men of the state fire service after two hours of battle.
The fire which started about 5:30am, according to sources closed to the market security, might have been caused by a tea seller as he tried to enkindle fire for his tea business early that morning.
Most affected parts of the market were the palm oil, babies’ wears and soup ingredients sections.
Fire fighters who came to battle the inferno had a hectic time gaining accessing into the market due to congestion caused by some attached shops in the market.
After two hours of battle, the inferno was eventually brought under control after the firefighters had exhausted five trucks of water.
It would be recalled that about the same time in 2016, and 2017, similar fire incident occurred in the market when goods worth over N1billion were lost.
Only three months ago, the state government paid compensation to more than 200 victims of the last two disasters.
Among the first callers at the scene of the Friday inferno were the state governor, Alhaji Abubakar Sani Bello; the state PDP governorship candidate, Alhaji Umar Nasko, and the state Commissioner of Police, Paul Yakadi.
The governor described the incident as sad and very unfortunate, promising that something urgent must be done to stop “this annual fire incident.”
“We cannot fold our hands as a government and see people lose their hard-earned property every year to fire incident. This must be stopped,” he assured.
He, therefore, ordered the setting up of a committee to unravel the immediate cause of the inferno.
The PDP governorship candidate assured traders in the market that he would find a permanent solution to the “annual inferno” if elected as governor.