Nsukkaâ€”No fewer than 80 shops were raised by fire on Saturday night at Nsukka Main Market.
Mr Festus Onogwu, Chairman, Nsukka Amalgamated Traders Association, told newsmen that the fire started at about 8.20 p.m from the foodstuff sellersâ€™ line.
â€œWe are yet to ascertain the remote cause of the fire. Government should assist the affected traders, whose sources of livelihood have been destroyed,â€™â€™ he said.
The Commissioner for Rural Development, Mr Emecca Ani, who was conducted round the market, said Governor Sullivan Chime was disturbed by news of the fire outbreak.
He said that he was at the scene to access the level of damage caused by the inferno.
Ani directed the local government authority and executives of the marketÂ association to ensure that the affected traders were assisted in setting up their businesses.
He commended the local government chairman and his team for ensuring that the market was not completely razed.
Mr Ofobuike Igwebueze, Secretary,Â Nsukka Local Government Area,Â said the chairman had already directed that a committee be set up to investigate the remote causes of the fire to preventÂ any reoccurrence.
â€œWe will get to the root cause of the fire and ensure that the affected traders are assisted to start afresh. We will also ensure that all the access roads to the market are cleared of stalls. We take issues concerning the market serious because it is the major revenue earner for the council,â€™â€™ he said.
The Chief Fire Officer in Nsukka, Mr Osmond Umeh, said his men were able to respond immediately to tradersâ€™ distress calls, because the unit had good fire fighting equipment.