Akwatta food section of the popular Ogbette Market in Enugu at midnight went up in flames weekend in an inferno that gutted over N100 million worth of grains.
Weeping traders were seen bemoaning their losses to the fire whose cause is yet to be ascertained. They stated that the unfortunate incident was like the end of the world to them.
Chairman of the Corn Millers Association, Mr Augustin Ogbonna, who described the inferno as a mystery, stressing that, “this is something we have not experienced before”.
He added, “Over 200 bags of Bambara nuts worth over N42,000 each were completely destroyed in the fire. All our milling machines were also burnt. The cost of all these is more than N100 million.
“This is why we solicit the urgent help of the government and other public-spirited individuals to come to our aid. There is no electricity in this section of the market so we don’t know how the fire started.”
The plight of the affected traders has attracted the attention of the Enugu State government which assured that government will take steps to cushion the effect of the disaster on them.
Commissioner for Commerce and Industry in Enugu state, Barr. Sam Ogbu Nwobodo, has paid a visit to affected sections of the market to commiserate with the traders.
He told them, “the Enugu State government commiserates with you because you are part of this government. We urge you to support whatever effort the government puts in place to prevent such accidents.
“Most times, fire incidences are as a result of carelessness. So I advise traders to be careful,” Nwobodo added.