The Fruit and Vegetable Market in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, was on Thursday razed by fire.
The cause of the fire is yet to be ascertained.
But a man, who identified himself as the market leader, said the fire started at about 7 p.m, according to a statement issued on Thursday by the Government House, Port Harcourt.
The man claimed that some youth who were angry that firefighters came late prevented them from having access to the scene of the fire.
The state governor, Nyesom Wike, together with some members of the State Executive Council and leaders in the state, visited the scene of the inferno for an on the spot assessment, the statement said.
Mr Wike was said to have described the incident as a great loss to the state. He promised that the state government was going to rebuild the market immediately.
“Government will do what it is supposed to do to ensure that the traders continued to earn a living. It is unfortunate that this has happened.
“We will look at the immediate and remote causes and we shall also come to the aid of those who are affected by the inferno,” the governor said.
The governor said firefighters should have been allowed to salvage the situation, even though they were said to have responded late to the fire outbreak.
He pleaded with the traders to remain calm and cooperate with the authorities for the matter to be resolved quickly.