Tony John, Port Harcourt
Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike has met with traders at the burnt Fruit and Vegetable Market, D/Line, Port Harcourt, where he directed the Special Adviser on Special Projects to immediately re-design the market and commence reconstruction processes.
The governor had on Thursday night conducted an on-the-spot assessment of the market, after the fire incident was reported to him.
“Let me assure you that I have directed Special Adviser on Special Projects, so that we can rebuild the market immediately”, he said.
He reassured the traders that his administration would offer them assistance to get their lives back on track.
Governor Wike directed the Mayor of Port Harcourt City Local Government Area and the councillor of the area, where the market was located, to work with the traders to draw up a comprehensive list of shop owners and affected traders for the government’s intervention.
He said: “Those of you, who sell here, I have told the Mayor and the councillor representing here to get your names, so that we can reach out to you”.He reiterated his appeal to the affected traders to cooperate with the Rivers State Government for the necessary action.
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“What I saw here yesterday, and this morning, is so painful. Please, endure and cooperate with us. Your problem is our problem. What affects you, affects the Government.
“This is your source of livelihood and we will find a way to assist you rebuild your lives”, he said.
He added that the State Government will investigate the cause of the inferno.
Also, the immediate past governor and Minister of Transportation, Chibuike Amaechi, has assured traders of the popular fruit market in D-line, who lost their goods and shops to the midnight fire yesterday, that he would liase with the All Progressives Congress (APC) leadership in the state to assist them finnancially.
Amaechi also promised that the party will come to the aide of the traders by ensuring that all those affected by the inferno were assisted, so they could have some level of relief.
Speaking to the fire victims at the scene of the incident, Amaechi said: “What we will do is to assist you. You should reach the State chairman of the party (APC) and let us know what level of assistance we can give to you.
“We will try and give some level of assistance to help you. So, let us know what the issues are, so that we can assist”, he said.
Also addressing the victims of the fire, an APC governorship aspirant, Tonye Cole, said, “Your Chairman will take record of the number of stores affected by the fire to enable us compensate everybody that lost his or her goods.”
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“So, let us know how much you have lost and the number of persons affected by the fire. For now, we know you need money to survive, we would give some amount of money to your Chairman for all of you”, Cole promised said.
Meanwhile, some of the traders, who spoke to Saturday Sun, have commended Governor Wike and his predecessor, Amaechi, for coming to sympathize with them.
The traders appealed to them to respond promptly, so that they can start life again, especially as Christmas season draws near.