Oluseye Ojo, Ibadan
A midnight fire has destroyed multi-million naira worth of goods in at least 10 shops at Orita-Aperin in Ibadan, Oyo State.
The incident was said to have occurred at midnight on Friday and the cause of the inferno was yet to be ascertained at the time of filing this report.
A leader of the affected market, Mr. Abiodun Hammed, said: “The fire started by 12 midnight on Friday, and we immediately called the Oyo State Fire Service. Unfortunately, when they got here, their truck did not function. So, we had to resolve to self-help by putting out the fire ourselves, or else, the loss would have been more than this.
“The shops that were affected include those selling jewellery, food ingredients provisions, red oil and herbs among others. Over N5.6million is the worth of jewellery that got burnt, and most of the goods affected in the shops of the herbs sellers cannot be replaced because they were ancient goods that cannot be seen in the market again.”
He appealed to Oyo State government assist the victims of the inferno, saying the huge loss would be too difficult for the victims to bear alone.
One of the affected traders, Latifat Adegbola, who said she collected loan to stock her shop, stated: “All my goods have been consumed by fire and the remaining ones are useless. We are calling on the state government to come to our aid so that we can survive.”
Meanwhile, Governor Seyi Makinde of the state has commiserated with the victims, saying he received the news of the inferno at Aperin Market with sadness, as he vowed to get to the roots of the sad incident.
In a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Taiwo Adisa, Makinde said: “I condole with the market men and women who lost their valuables to the fire incident. It saddens me to hear this is happening at a time we are putting heads together to expand the economy of this state and put more money in the pockets of our people.
“It is particularly painful that the incident happened in the dead of the night when many of the shop owners were far asleep. I learnt that many shops that were recently stocked were affected. Please take heart as we take measures to forestall such occurrences.
“Let me assure market leaders, market men and women, especially those affected by the Aperin fire incident to be rest assured that the government of Oyo state will not abandon them to their fate at this time.
“We will not only unravel the cause of the fire but will also ensure that we do what is within our powers to support the victims of the incident.”