From Tunde Omolehin, Sokoto
The Government of Rivers State has pledged N500 million to support the Government of Sokoto State in rebuilding the Sokoto Central Market ravaged by fire on Tuesday morning.
Rivers Governor Nyesom Wike made the pledge during his visit to Sokoto on Wednesday.
The governor said the money is to support the victims of the inferno, saying he was shocked and disturbed when he learned about fire disaster.
‘A situation where the means of livelihood of the people of Sokoto State, the drive of the government to improve the people’s lives and a broad spectrum of socio-economic wellbeing of many people will be affected, does not augur well for development and progress,’ the Rivers governor remarked.
Sokoto Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal had earlier explained that the gutted market has 16,000 shops out of which ‘at least 60 per cent were affected by the fire.’
He said when the fire brought out the entire state government apparatus and some from the federal government were mobilised to control it.
After inspecting the scene, Governor Wike and his entourage also paid a courtesy visit to the Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar, at his palace.
During the visit to the palace, Governor Wike condoled with the State Government, the Sultanate Council and the people of Sokoto over the death of the late Commissioner for Home Affairs, Hon Abdulkadir Jeli Abubakar, who was the junior brother of the Sultan.
In his response, Sultan Abubakar, noting the age-long relationship between Sokoto and Rivers, expressed gratitude to the governor for his visit and support for the state.