Goods and property worth millions were on Saturday lost to a fire incident at the Orita-Aperin Market, Ibadan.

The incident is coming weeks after a tanker fire burnt cars and people around the Onipepeye bridge of the Lagos-Ibadan expressway.

The cause of the Orita-Aperin market fire, which was said to have broken out on Friday midnight, was still unknown as at the time of filing this report.

Speaking on the incident, the Babaloja of Orita-Aperin market, Abiodun Hammed said: “The fire started by 12 midnight on Friday, and we immediately called on Oyo State Fire Service but unfortunately, when they got here, the nozzle of their truck was not functioning.

“So, we had to resolve to self -help by putting out the fire ourselves, or else, the lost would have been more than that”.

The Babaloja added that most of the owners of the affected shops just bought their goods , adding that this was what makes the total value of the goods affected by the fire to be much.

“The shops that were affected include shop of a jeweries seller, shop of a food ingredient seller, shop of a provisions seller, red oil seller and herbs seller among others.

“N5,600,000 was the worth of jewelries that got burnt and most of the goods affected in the shops of the herbs seller cannot be replaced because they were ancient goods that cannot be seen on the market again,” he lamented.

He however appealed to the Oyo State government to come to their aid because the loss was too much for the victim to bear.

One of the victims, whose shops were also affected by the fire, Latifat Adegbola, appealed to the Oyo State government to assist them financially because the money they used to buy the affected goods was collected as loan with interest.

Adegbola said “All my goods have been consumed by fire and the remaining ones are useless. We are calling on the state government to come to our aid so that we can survive.”

A pepper and onion seller, Mariam Oladepo, who said she lost goods worth N100,000 to the inferno lamented that her shop has been razed with nothing left for her and her children to feed on.

The market women however alleged that the fire would not have gone to that extent if the Oyo State Fire Service truck that was deployed to the scene of the incident had functioned properly.

But in a swift commiseration with the victims, Oyo state Governor Seyi Makinde although described the incident as sad, vowed to find out the cause.

In a statement by his media aide, Mr. Taiwo Adisa, Makinde lamented that the incident happened in the dead of the night when many of the shops owners were fast asleep, adding that the incident is happening at a time he is looking at expanding the state’s economy in the people’s interest.

He said: “Let me assure market leaders, market men and women, especially those affected by the Aperin fire incident to be rest assured that the government of Oyo state will not abandon them to their fate at this time.

“We will not only unravel the cause of the fire but will also ensure that we do what is within our powers to support the victims of the incident.”

The Nation

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