Fire guts 30 shops at Nnewi electrical market
By Mokwugwo Solomon
Goods worth over N40 million have been destroyed as strange fire gutted Nnewi Electrical Market in the midnight of Thursday, February 6.
The fire, which cause could not be ascertained as at the time of filling this report, consumed thousands of electrical and electronics equipment, including computer sets, television sets, radio sets, wires and cables, pipes, bulbs, among many other commodities.
Mr Ofodum Kenneth, chairman of Dago/Okeke Zone of the Nnewi Electrical Market, where the fire incident occurred, told this paper that he was already asleep in the night of Thursday when he was called that the market was on fire.
“I was already asleep around 10pm when a security man in the market called me that the market was on fire. I rushed to the office of the Nnewi fire service to inform them, but I later learnt that their equipment was not in order. It was fire fighters from Awka that later came in the early hours of Friday to quench the fire; but before then, the fire had consumed a lot of things,” he said.
He urged government to relocate the market to its permanent site and to provide fire fighting equipment to avoid reoccurrence of such incident.
Speaking to this paper, one of the victims of the fire incident, Afam Patrick Israel, who said he repairs and sells electrical materials in the market, said he lost goods worth over N3 million to the fire. Afam, a father of five, also begged government and spirited individuals to assist affected traders.
The Commissioner for Trade, Commerce and Wealth Creation in Anambra, Uchenna Charles Okafor, who was also in the market to commiserate with the traders, said the state government was saddened on the news of the fire incident.
He condoled with the victims and promised that government would set up committee to look into the immediate cause of the inferno with a view to finding remedies.
On relocating traders in the market to their permanent site, the commissioner said his ministry was still consulting with the leadership of the market to know the best way to hasten the process.
Chairman of Nnewi North Local Government Area, Chukwudi Orizu; President General of Nzukora Nnewi, Ugochukwu Udemezue, and chairman of Nnewi Traders Association, Edward Muozom, who were also on ground to commiserate with the traders, also called on the state government to equip markets in the state with functional fire fighting equipment to avoid continuous loss of properties in markets.