From Tom Garba, Yola
The Government of Adamawa state on Monday sympathised with the traders of Yola town Main Market over an early morning inferno that razed the market, consuming properties worth billions of Naira.
Deputy Governor Martins Babale who was among the early callers at the market said he sympathized with them and assured them of government help after assessing the extent of damage caused by the inferno.
Babale called on NEMA, corporate organizations and wealthy individuals to come to the aid of the marketers with a view to cushioning their sufferings.
The inferno, which is the worst ever to gut the market consumed about 90 percent of shops there.
The fire, according to eyewitnesses, started at about 2:30am and went out of control as initial efforts to extinguished it was stymied by lack of access roads in the market.
A shop owner Mallam Babayola Maijimilla whose shop was also razed down said: “The fire started around the middle of the market, efforts by early sympathizers to extinguish it was rebuffed by security operatives who denied them access into the market for fear of looting. But the situation did not get better even upon the arrival of fire fighters who find it difficult to gain access to the point of the inferno as the market did not have access roads.”
Some of the other affected shop owners said they have lost everything they toiled for in life to the fire incident calling on the government to come to their aid.
Chairman Adamawa Traders Association popularly called Gamzaki Traders Association in Adamawa, Alhaji Ibrahim Mohammad (86), appealed to Federal, State and Local governments to come to their aid.
Similarly, Speaker Adamawa State House of Assembly, Kabir Mijinyawa in whose constituency the market is situated, called on the marketers to be patient as the government assessed the level of damage wrought on the market.
He urged them to see the incident as an act of God just as he promised to do everything in his capacity to ensure that the marketers get succour from the government.
Adamawa State Commissioner of Police, Ghazzali Mohammed, said he had deployed a number of policemen to provide security and prevent hoodlums from looting properties, noting that the effort have yielded results as a number of looters have been arrested.
Executive Secretary Adamawa State Emergency Management Agency, Haruna Hammanfuro said the fire incident was the worst of its kind in the history of the market.
He said they were yet to quantify the extent of damage done to properties although no life was lost.