Early morning fire guts market in Kwara
The traditional market of Offa people in Kwara State, ‘Owode’, was in the early hours of yesterday gutted by fire suspected to have been triggered by an electric spark from a shop. Property valued at millions of Naira was lost to the inferno, which began at about 1:00a.m.
Report confirmed that 23 shops were burnt beyond recognition leaving behind debris and relics, just as many of the victims, mostly women wept uncontrollably at the sight of their once adorned shops.
Reacting to the incident, the head, Media and Publicity, Kwara Fire Service, Hassan Hakeem Adekunle, said the intelligence unit of the Fire Service was working to unravel the immediate and remote causes of the fire.
According to Adekunle, “if not for the quick intervention of the fire brigade, the disaster would have been much. Though about 23 shops were affected due to the delay in sending distressed calls to the fire service.”
One of the traders affected by the incident, Hajia Asimowu Bello, lamented her dilemma and called on the state government to come to the rescue of traders who suffered losses in the incident.
Meanwhile, the Offa Descendants Union, ODU, has expressed deep shock over the incident. In a statement by the National Public Relations Officer, Alhaji Maruf Adenifuja, the union said the extent of the inferno was yet to be ascertained.
Also, the Kwara State government has commiserated with traders affected by the fire. The Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Mrs. Aisha Ahman-Patigi, expressed the government’s sympathy in a statement yesterday in Ilorin.
In the statement signed by the Press Secretary of the ministry, Mr. Oba Azeez, the government described the fire outbreak as unfortunate. Ahman-Patigi also described the incident as a shock and commiserated with the Olofa of Offa, Oba Mufutau Gbadamosi, and the people who lost valuables to the fire.
The commissioner however cautioned residents against using electricity and combustible items to prevent fire outbreaks.
She assured that her ministry would work with the community and concerned authorities on how to assist victims of the incident.