Muyiwa Olaore, an aide to the State Commissioner for Environment and Habitat, Lowo Obisesan, announced the government’s decision to the affected traders while delivering Governor Abiola Ajimobi’s sympathy message to them.
The fire which started around 7.30 p.m., witnesses said, was ignited by a loud explosion from one of the shops within the clustered structures. It is believed gun powder and other combustible items are sold in the area where the fire started from.
One of the victims, Ibraheem Iyiola, told PREMIUM TIMES that they closed for the day before the incident happened.
Mr. Iyiola, who sells children’s cloths, underwear, and similar items, said he lost up to N2 million to the disaster.
“We had closed for the day around 6 p.m. It was almost 8 p.m. when a friend called to inform me of the incident. But before I could get here about an hour later, it was too late to save anything. The fire had caught the ceiling and it fell on my wares. I could not save anything,” he lamented.
Due to the clustered nature of shops and inflammable items on sale there, the area had witnessed several fire incidents in which goods worth several millions of Naira are consumed on each occasion.
In 2012, fire had razed some parts of the market some few shops away from the area where the current one took place.
While it is generally believed that the incessant fire is a result of carelessness in handling the combustible items sold within the market, some of the victims alleged sabotage while speaking with reporters on Wednesday.
They also alleged that the fire fighters came late to the scene, and that they did not come with enough water when they eventually surfaced.
Government representatives, however, attributed this to inability to raise alarm on the fire incident on time.
Mr. Iyiola pleaded for understanding as the government seeks to correct some of the environmental crises ignited by people’s failure to adhere to the approved plans in erecting structures.
As at noon when our reporter visited the scene, smokes were still billowing from the some wreckage of the burnt structures.
Victims were seen taking stock of their losses as some of them were trying to see what they could make of slightly burnt materials.
Some of the damaged items include farm tools, like cutlasses, hoes and other chemicals.
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