By Davies Iheamnachor, PORT HARCOURT
Traders in Rivers State whose goods and property were destroyed in the midnight fire outbreak at Marine Base Market in Port Harcourt City Local have called on the governor of the state, Chief Nyesom Wike, for help.
The Marine Base market, popularly called Timber Market, was around 11 pm Wednesday gutted by a mysterious fire that razed the entire market and some residential buildings within the area.
A source in the area, who gave her name simply as Gift, narrated that activities had closed for the day before the fire engulfed the makeshift market.
Gift noted that they had called the fire service in the state when the incident started, but that the agency said it could not turn up because of a lack of personnel.
She said: “There was a heavy fire last night at Marine Base market. The fire burnt down the market. Traders on the market lost every one of their goods.
“The fire started around 10 pm when the market has already closed. Nobody died in the incident but traders lost everything they have in the fire.
“When the fire started we called fire service they said they would come. After about 30 minutes we called the line again, a lady picked the call but said they can’t come because their men are not on the ground that they have gone for another duty.
“People have lost goods worth millions of naira. Some of the shop owners came in around 12 and met their shops razed, while some came and saved a few of their goods.”
However, the Chairman of the market, Mr Isaac Amaewhule, expressed regrets over the development, noting that many of the traders in the market obtained loans for return to the market.
Amaewhule said: “Just last night around 11:30 pm, I got a call that this market has been gutted by fire. I could not come by that time. By reaching here this morning I saw it. There is nothing I can tell at the moment to be what caused the fire outbreak.
“Traders are always good at borrowing money. Most of us are owing because we borrowed to invest. We need the government to come and assist us. I know too well that our governor, Chief Nyesom Wike is a listening governor.m, even other individuals and NGOs should come to our aid.