By Johnbosco Agbakwuru, Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday said that the Federal government will work with the governments of Katsina and Zamfara States to assist traders affected by two devastating fire incidents in their major markets.
The President in separate messages delivered by a government delegation led by Abubakar Malami, the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, in Katsina and Gusau, the two state capitals, expressed concern at the destruction of billions of Naira worth of goods and property in the inferno.
In a statement issued by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu in Abuja last night, the President noted that the unfortunate fire incidents came at a time when the effects of COVID 19 on economies around the world had taken a toll on virtually all businesses.
He also acknowledged that many of the traders had stocked wares in anticipation of the boom in sales in the period of the upcoming Ramadan and the Sallah festival that follows.
To ease the hardship and losses suffered, the President gave assurances that the government would do all that is possible to assist them, adding that his reason for sending the powerful delegation was for them to assess the extent of damage and discuss with the State governments on how the Federal government could be of assistance.
Commiserating with the governments and people of the two states, President Buhari said he was interested in working with them to avert a recurrence of such tragic incidents.
While in Gusau, the government delegation congratulated the State Government on the recent harvest of successes in curtailing the activities of bandits in the State.
Malami was accompanied by the Ministers of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, Police Affairs, Maigari Dingyadi, Aviation, Hadi Sirika and that of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development Sadiya Umar Faruk as well as the Senior Special Assistant, Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu.
In their separate responses, the Governor of Katsina State, Aminu Bello Masari, accepted the President’s invitation to work with Federal authorities to find solutions to the recurring problem of market fires.
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He announced that he had set up a committee to investigate the remote and immediate causes of the incident while giving assurances that the victims will not be left to their fate.
In his remarks, the Emir of Katsina, Abdulmumin Kabir Usman raised an alarm about plots to destabilise the Buhari administration, cautioning the media to avoid playing a part in it.
The Governor of Zamfara State, Alhaji Bello Matawalle conveyed to the President, the happiness of his people over the visit. He described the sympathy expressed by the President following the recent fire incident at Tudun Wada Central Market, Gusau, as an illustration of his fatherly love for Zamfara State.
The Governor used the occasion to appeal to the Federal government to consider a general amnesty for repentant bandits as was done in the case of Niger Delta militants.