From Gyang Bere, Jos
The Federal Government has expressed commitment to assist farmers in Namu community of Quan-Pan Local Government Area of Plateau State in the aftermath of the inferno that destroyed yam and seedlings worth over N500 million.
The Director General, National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Engr Mustapha Maihaja, disclosed this during the spot assessment of yam market that was ravaged by fire last week.
Maihaja, who was represented by the North Central Coordinator of NEMA, Eugene Nyelong, said that the Federal Government cannot pay farmers of all the losses incurred during the inferno but would intervene to reduce their hardship and to restore their sources of livelihood.
‘The Director General National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) directed me to convey his sympathy message over the inferno that occurred on the 28 of March in the market that is known for supplying of yam all over the nation,’ Nyelong said.
‘We received a correspondent from member representing Shendam, Quan-Pan, Mikang Federal constituency, Hon Alphonsus Komsol, Chairman of Quan-Pan Local Government Area and another distress call from the State Management Agency, we quickly form a team for us to come to be able to assess the extent of damage to see how the Federal Government will be able to help the farmers.
‘We are here also to sensitize the people on the inferno to avert the repeat of any fire eventuality in the future by taking effective safety measures. We will also work with the farmers to ensure insurance for all the farm produce in the community.
‘My heart bleed for the people because all the source of their livelihood have been destroyed. We have seen for ourselves, we have received pictures and correspondences and when we go back, we will quickly put our report and send to NEMA headquarters so that succour would be provided for the farmer to enable them bounce back to their livelihood.’
A lawmaker representing Shendam, Quan-Pan, Mikang Federal constituency of Plateau State in the House of Representatives, Hon Alphonsus Komsol, described the inferno as unfortunate and called for the speedy intervention of thd Federal Government to address the plight of the farmers.
‘I lack words to describe how sad I am and the people of this community over the fire disaster, my heart bleeds for the victims. When I went round the market to see for myself the level of damage, I didn’t know where to start with the situation that we have found ourselves with regards to the incident.
‘Inasmuch as we are human being, we believe in God over what has happened. But I feel relief over the coming of NEMA and SEMA and other organizations that have come for intervention.
‘I want to also call on the attention of the Federal Government and other philanthropy organizations to come and help these farmers now that the raining season is approaching. I and more sad because even the seedlings that would be planted to get more yam got burnt.’
Komsol explained that the community brought the yam seedlings for storage in one place in the market for fear of insecurity that was ravaging the area.
‘Leaving the seedlings in the farm will be taken away by thieves and enemies of the community and, unfortunately, the whole seedlings was burnt during the fire incident.’
He appealed to the victims to remain calm that everything is being done to provide succour for them to restore the livelihood.
Komsol appreciated Governor Simon Lalong for visiting the community and Minister of Women Affairs Dame Pauline Tallen who has shown concerned and called for more collaborations to salvage the people.
The Chairman of the Yam market, Monday Bwall, said the source of fire was sparked from the exhaust of a grounding machine which destroyed yam seedlings worth over N500 million.
‘Our concern now is that we have a particular type of yam in the community that yield very well which people from Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt usually come to buy but the seedlings have all been destroyed by the fire.
‘We appeal to the Federal Government under President Muhammadu Buhari to quickly intervene to ensure food security in the country during the next Garmin season because the market supply yam all over the nation.’