At least 200 shops and goods worth over N100 million were burnt in Ose Okwuodu food stuff market in Onitsha, Anambra, on Saturday.
According to an eyewitness, the fire started at about 3 a.m.
Chairman of the market, Sunday Ewulum expressed sadness over the fire outbreak, saying men of the fire service from Okpoko and Main Market, Onitsha, as well as some traders, battled to put out the fire for hours in a bid to save the rest of the market.
He therefore appealed to the Anambra Government and the State Emergency Management Agency to come to the aid of the affected traders.
President of Amalgamated Market Traders Association of Anambra State (AMATAS), Chief Okwudili Ezenwankwo, said the state government’s attention would be drawn to the plight of the affected traders.
He appealed to the government to set up a panel of inquiry to determine the cause of the fire. Adding that, efforts were underway to educate the traders on the need to insure their goods.
Governor of Anambra State, Willie Obiano has consoled the traders in the Ogboji Area of Ose-Okwodu Market in Onitsha describing the incident as ‘unfortunate’.
He assured the affected traders that efforts were being made to ascertain the actual cause of the fire outbreak in order to forestall a future occurrence.
“Let me also assure you that my administration is determined to change the face of trade and commerce in Anambra State. We shall remodel existing markets to be able to resist the horror of persistent fire outbreaks,” said Obaino.
“We are already building modern shopping malls in Onitsha, Nnewi and Awka that will deliver a more wholesome shopping experience than what we currently have in Anambra State,’ he said.