What I’ll Do For Victims Of Burnt Market – Ortom
Following the fire outbreak that gutted some parts of the Makurdi Modern Market yesterday evening, Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue has pledged to release the sum of N50 million to traders whose shops were destroyed by the inferno.
The fire which according to reports, started around 7:30pm after traders had closed for the day burnt and destroyed goods worth millions of naira in over 200 shops.
Ortom, during an on-the-spot assessment of the incident lamented the extent of damage.
He called on the traders to have faith in God.
“When there is life, there is hope.
“This is one incident too many. I recall that we had fire incidences at Gboko Market, Wadata Market and now Modern Market.
“And for Modern Market, this is the third time it is happening within a few years.
“This alone is one too many and we do not deserve it again. We pray it never happens again (but) we must take some proactive steps to ensure it doesn’t happen again,” he added.
While promising the traders that government would not abandon them in this moment of trail, Ortom said a commission of inquiry would be set up to identify the immediate and remote causes of all the fire incidences in the market so as to ensure that such an incident does not happen again.
He also lamented that billions of naira had been lost as a result of the destruction caused by the fire.
He said that the Commission would among other things look into the issues surrounding the suspension of the market union as well as seek ways to ensure that all parts of the market which had been burnt down were rebuilt.
Speaking earlier, the Ter Makurdi, HRH Sule Abenga, who sympathized with all the affected traders urged them not to despair but trust in God to bring them out of the predicament.
The traditional ruler who noted that the fire incidence had affected the economy of the state also called on the federal government to assist the state government in ameliorating the plight of the people.
The Makurdi modern market which was built by the first civilian governor of the state, late Aper Aku, has suffered from several fire incidents over the years as early as 2003 where it suffered from two major infernos.
In 2004, another blaze razed the market and four years after, another conflagration tore through the market, among several others.
These incidents are not without loss of property worth millions of naira.
The market is one of Benue State’s sources of Internally Generated Revenue, IGR.