A midnight fire incident at the popular Ogbe-Ijoh Market in the Warri South Local Government Area of Delta State has wrecked no fewer than 500 shops, destroying goods and property worth several millions of naira.
It was gathered that the fire began at about 11:30pm on Tuesday, and lasted till about 1:30am on Wednesday, leaving hundreds of shops destroyed, while others were reportedly looted by youths in the area.
Sources said the fire started from an electrical fault in one of the makeshift shops in the market, and is coming barely a year after a similar incident destroyed shops and wares in the market, destroyed some 500 shops.
The latest inferno was eventually put out by the men of the Delta State Fire Service, who immediately mobilised to the rescue with the assistance of military men, who mounted a checkpoint around the market.
Many of the affected traders lamented the disaster, lamenting that all their means of livelihood had been destroyed. Leader of Ogbe-Ijoh Market Traders Women Union, Mrs. Queen Ajemitolu, said in pidgin English, “I don tire for this market wey dey burn every time.
“Na fish we dey sell here, because of no proper care, and temporary structure so the time people dey dry fish, or if NEPA light come, e dey cause fire”.
She went on to appeal to the state government to come to the aid of the affected traders, particularly women, and provide boreholes, as well as other basic amenities in the market.
Speaking during his visit to the scene of the incident, the IYC President, Eric Omare, sympathized with traders over the unfortunate incident and bemoaned the persistent outbreak of fire in the Ogbe-Ijoh market.
He called on the Delta governor, Ifeany Okowa to as a matter of urgency build befitting structures in the market to avoid periodical fire incidents.
Omare categorically called on the state government to include the construction of the Ogbe-Ijoh Market in the state 2018 appropriation bill currently before the Delta State House of Assembly to save the market traders the ordeal of persistent fire incidents.