The Government of Adamawa State on Monday condoled with the traders of Yola town main market over an early morning inferno that razed down the market and consumed properties estimated at billions of naira.
The Deputy Governor, Honourable Martins Babale, who was among the early callers at the market, said he sympathised with them, and gave an assurance of government’s help, after assessing the extent of damage.
Babale called on National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), corporate organisations and wealthy individuals to come to the aid of the marketers with a view to cushioning their travails.
The inferno, which was the worst ever to engulf the market, was believed to have consumed about 90 percent of shops.
The fire, which according to eyewitnesses started at about 2.30 a.m., went out of control as initial efforts to extinguish it was thwarted by lack of access roads in the market.
A shop owner, Mallam Babayola Maijimilla, whose shop was also destroyed, said that “the fire started around the middle of the market, efforts by early sympathisers to extinguish it was rebuffed by security operatives, who denied them access into the market for fear of looting.
But the situation did not get any better even upon the arrival of fire fighters, who found it difficult to gain access to the point of the inferno, since the market did not have access roads.
Some of the affected shop owners said that they had lost everything they toiled for in life to the fire incident, and called on the government to come to their aid.
The Chairman of Adamawa Traders Association, Alhaji Ibrahim Mohammad (86), appealed to Federal, State and Local Governments to come to their aid, saying that they had lost 90 percent of their shops to the inferno.
Similarly, the Speaker Adamawa State House of Assembly, Honourable Kabir Mijinyawa, in whose constituency the market is situated, called on the marketers to be patient as the government assessed the extent of damage wrought on the market.
He urged them to see the incident as an act of God, just as he promised to do everything in his capacity to ensure that the traders got succour from the government.
The Adamawa State Commissioner of Police, Ghazzali Mohammed, said that he had deployed a number of policemen to provide security and prevent hoodlums from looting property, noting that the effort yielded had results, as a number of looters had been arrested.
The Executive Secretary Adamawa State Emergency Management Agency, Haruna Hammanfuro, said the fire incident was the worst of its kind in the history of the market.
He said they were yet to quantify the extent of damage done to property, although no life was lost.