The State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) in Plateau on Friday commenced an assessment visit to the Jos Central Mosque which was recently gutted by fire.
Mr Alhassan Barde, the Executive Secretary of SEMA, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on the sidelines of the visit that the exercise was to ascertain the level of destruction to the mosque.
He said the assessment visit was also to evolve measures to curtail such incidents in future.
This visit is to assess the level of damage to structures and persons affected among others to enable us submit a comprehensive report to the state government and make a case at the federal level too,“ he said.
He said the findings would be made public to enable individuals and the organised private sector contribute to supporting victims.
According to him, the fire affected mostly the women section of the mosque, the second-hand clothes stalls and other structures bordering the mosque.
The magnitude of the damage by the inferno is high though no life was lost; it destroyed the source of livelihood of some traders, rendering them penniless, “ he said.
He said SEMA would embark on an awareness campaign with stakeholders in disaster management to sensitise the public, using simulation and demonstrations, on how to handle fire incidents.
Barde , however, advised residents to be cautious in the handling of electrical installations and appliances.
Garba Abdulkadir, the Chairman of the Jos Central Mosque Committee, commended the state government for its concern.
The cleric assured that the mosque’s officials would ensure caution to avoid future occurrence of fire out breaks.
Speaking on behalf of victims, Mr Ja’afaru Husseini, who said 35 shops were burnt during the incident, dismissed the speculation that the outbreak was due to use of cooking appliance.
He said the shops had no connection to the public power source and that no one was using gas cooking stoves.
According to him, more than N50 million worth of properties were destroyed in the inferno.
He, however, commended the State Fire Service for its quick response, which he said, averted further damage.
Husseini called on government, philanthropists and the organised private sector to come to the aid of victims to alleviate their pains.
I call upon the government and public spirited Nigerians to come to our rescue so that our sources of livelihood will be restored, “ he said. (NAN)
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