– Governor Okowa commiserates with traders
The popular Ogbeogonogo market in Asaba, the capital of Delta State was Tuesday gutted by fire.
Property and goods worth millions of naira were consumed in the inferno at the market that has over the years been upgraded to a modern market by successive administrations in the state.
Though the exact cause of the fire is not yet known, sources blame it on power surge which led to the razing of the livestock and tailoring sections of the market situated on the busy Nnebisi Road in Asaba,
RealTime24 gathered that the affected traders lamented seriously about their losses especially at a time that the economy is biting very hard on everybody due the coronavirus pandemic.
Meanwhile, Delta State Governor, Dr Ifeanyi Okowa hours later visited the market to ascertain the havoc wrecked by the fire and commiserate with the victims.
The governor who was saddened by the unfortunate incident promised that the state government will assist the traders affected to get back to their businesses.
He told newsmen that the cause of the fire was still being investigated and assured that the government would liaise with Oshimili South Local Government Council to rebuild the market to modern standards.
“I have just finished inspecting the burnt section of the Ogbeogonogo market here in Asaba; there was a fire incident in the market this morning but it is the old market that was affected and the new section was not affected.
“It is obvious that a lot of persons have been affected because we saw that virtually all the stores in that section have totally been brought down by the fire.
“I commiserate with those who lost their goods to the unfortunate fire incident and as a government we will do everything possible to assist them.
“I cannot ascertain the number of stores now but there are quite a number and I have directed that the chairman of that section of the market should be able to get to us the documentation of those who own shops in that market.
“We will also cross check with the documents of the local government council so that we know how to offer assistance in terms of palliative to enable them get back to business.
“But apparently, they have been very badly affected but we thank God for the intervention of the state’s Fire Service; it could have been worse.
“That place is actually very congested and I am sure that if not for the intervention of the fire service, the fire would have done a lot of damage not only to the main market but to very many other private stores that are in existence in that place.
“The cause of the fire is not yet known because I did ask questions. However, it has happened and it is for us to be able to find a way to provide assistance to those who have been impacted very badly by the incident.
“We will work with the local government council because markets are actually under the control of local government councils.
“The main market which was built by the state government was handed over to the local government council.
“Apparently, the oldest section of the market did not follow any real patterns or rules and so I will have to discuss with the local government council and thereafter give appropriate directives on what ought to be done,” he stated.