By Sunny A. Ijomah
Few weeks into the New Year traders at the Education Market Woliwo Layout Onitsha, are recounting losses as goods worth over Five Hundred Million Naira were lost to an inferno which gutted the market .
The ugly incident which was said to have occurred around seven o'clock in the night, razed all the shops in the market.
At the time of filling this report, the shops were still in flames with the stationeries and other equipment burnt to ashes while traders and passers-by were seen lamenting about the ugly development.
It was gathered that the cause of the disaster was yet to be ascertained, as some sources said it started from one of the shops at the first floor.
Narrating their ordeal, the Chairman of the market, Chief Silas Uzor, said he was alerted when the fire started but regretted that despite efforts to stop the spread, it razed all their goods and pleaded for government’s assistance.
Inspecting the extent of the damage, the Commissioner for Trade and Commerce, Mr. Christian Madubuko, who sympathised with the traders on the incident, thanked God that no life was lost and announced that the state government would investigate the cause of the fire outbreak which he described as unfortunate. He noted that government would decisively deal with whoever that was indicted.
The Commissioner assured that the state government would compensate and assist the traders to enable them earn a living.
In an interview, some of the affected traders, including Dr. Sammy Loco and Chief Williams Ohagiri said their means of livelihood had been lost to the inferno and appealed to the state government to come to their aid.