March 18, 2024

Photos: Fire destroys shops in Sokoto central market

Photos: Fire destroys shops in Sokoto central market

By Musa Ubandawaki, Sokoto

A fire outbreak that started in the early hours of the day on Monday razed over one hundred and eighty stalls at the Sokoto State Central Market.

The fire, which started around 5 a.m. on Monday, razed down part of the central market.

Our correspondent, who visited the site, gathered that the fire specifically destroyed the site where motorcycles were being sold.

According to our findings, the fire emanated from a refuse dumping site.

The chairman of the Motorcycle Marketers Association, Shehu Muhammad, told our correspondent that the fire destroyed an unascertained number of motorcycles and shops.

“We are yet to ascertain and quantify the number of motorcycles burnt by the fire, as it is burning and raging.

“But many people lost their sides along with their motorcycles because they could not come in time as the fire started around 6 a.m. this morning,” he said.

“But the men of the federal and state fire service are currently battling, but I know it will take some time before they can quench it all,” he said.

He appealed to the state government to come to the aid of those who lost their property during the inferno.

It could be recalled that the market has been synonymous with fire outbreaks, as another episode was recorded in 2016 and 2021, with half of the market destroyed during the last two fire outbreaks and the market still under reconstruction.

The special adviser to the governor on Sokoto Central Market, Hon Ibrahim Mohammed Gidado, described the fire outbreak as an act of God and prayed to Allah to prevent the occurrence of the unfortunate incident.

Gidado, while reacting to claims by victims of the fire incident that officials of the central market were at fault considering the erection of a refuse dump of higher magnitude in the central market, said it was the immediate past management of the central market that refused to show concern for the evacuation of refuse in the market.

He said his office has since written to the governor, informing him of the development in the central market and the need to hasten the evacuation of refuse.

The representatives of the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) and the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), while assessing the damage caused by the fire, pledged to compile their findings and report them to their various relief agencies for possible assistance to the victims.