…As Fire Guts Onitsha Main Market, Soludo Commiserates with Traders

A mysterious fire that broke out Tuesday, at Onitsha main market, in Anambra State has destroyed goods and property worth hundreds of millions of naira.

Main Market, Onitsha is reputed to be the biggest market in West Africa, and hosts a large population of traders, who are mainly importers of goods, and deal in varied products.

A source, Mr Barth Ifediora who raised alarm over the fire said the fire broke out early morning on Tuesday, in a section of the market known as White House.

White House is the office of the leaders of the market, an expansive two-story building and hosts several offices, halls for meetings in the first and second floor, while the ground floor host shops.

A source said: “The area mostly affected by the fire is the block of shops under the white house, where expensive lace materials are sold.”

Insinuations have also been rife that the fire was eventually put out by men of the Delta State Fire Service.

Some traders had claimed that all efforts to get the Anambra Fire team to the site proved abortive, hence the need to engage the Delta State Fire team.

But in a quick rebuttal, the State Fire Chief, Engineer Martin Agbili debunked the insinuations, stating emphatically that the Delta State Fire Service did not come to fight fire in Anambra during the Fire Outbreak at Main Market.

He explained that what happened was that the Federal Fire Service in Delta State, the Federal Fire Service in Anambra and the Anambra State Fire Service all teamed up to fight the fire.

Agbili however noted that there is nothing wrong with Fire Service in neighbouring states assisting Anambra to battle fire incidents, wondering why there is always so much noise about the Delta State Fire Service assisting to fight fire incidents in Anambra.

“We have Federal Fire Service and also, we have State Fire Service.

“Federal Fire Service has a station in Delta State and also in Anambra State, like wise the State Fire services in Anambra State Fire Service and Delta State Fire Service.

“Nevertheless, the one that came for assistance was Federal Fire Service attached to Delta State not Delta State Fire Service.

“Furthermore, the fire was fought by the Federal Fire Service in Anambra State, Federal Fire Service, Delta State and Anambra State Fire Service.

“Our people need to stop these false information aimed at discrediting the state fire service comprising dedicated fire men who risk their lives on a daily basis, trying to put out all kinds of fire,” he pleaded.

Meanwhile, the State Governor, Prof Chukwuma Soludo has commiserated with traders at the Onitsha main over the fire incident that razed down their shops

In a statement on Wednesday by his Chief Press Secretary, Christian Aburime, the Governor expressed sadness over the fire on Tuesday that razed a two-storey building within the main market which consumed some shops leading to loss of goods

The Governor again reiterated the need for all to be extra vigilant in preventing outbreak of fire incidences in the markets, offices and even the homes.

He commended the efforts of the Fire-fighters and other security agencies who battled to contain the inferno.

Governor Soludo further assured that government will investigate the incident with a view to preventing future occurrence.


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