Hope James

The Governor of Ekiti State, Biodun Oyebanji, on Monday, visited the burnt shasha market in Ikere-Ekiti, Ikere Local Government Area, promising supports for traders, who lost their valuables to the inferno that engulfed a section of the market, on Saturday.

A section of the market located between Ado-Ikere road, was around 4pm, on Saturday, gutted by fire, with property worth millions of naira destroyed in the evening inferno.

Oyebanji who bemoaned the loss of wares worth millions and structures razed urged traders across the state to be conscious of their actions during this dry season period to avert calamity.

The Governor’s delegation, led by the Deputy Governor, Chief (Mrs) Monisade Afuye, pledged that the state government will carry out some restructuring in the market, by replacing some thatch-roofed and other old structures with modern ones.

The governor added that officers and staff of the Ministry of Trade and Investment will be visiting the market to enumerate the number of victims and take other vital information to provide proper and relevant intervention guide.

In line with the promise made to the traders during the electioneering campaign, the governor, said the road leading to the market from the Ado-Ikere-Akure road will be graded to ease transportation along the axis.

“Governor Biodun Oyebanji sympathise with you on the losses you suffered, but let us be cautious in all our dealings this time because dry season is around now.

“We thank God that no life was lost. We can still make up for those things we have lost through personal efforts and government’s intervention. But if anyone had died, it is irreversible.

“Let us be careful. We never knew the generating set that caused the incident would spark up fire. We thank God that the person who caused the arson also owned up that he was responsible for it. But government won’t punish him because it was not intentional.

“The government will surely give support for the fact our Governor wants everybody plying his trade in Ekiti to be happy and prosperous, not minding where you came from.

“We will provide roads and other facilities that will guarantee safety and good life here. I also appeal to traders to cooperate with the leadership of Traders’ Association for the maintenance of some of the facilities they provided.

“People shouldn’t resist payment of little rates to maintain them because government can’t do it alone, we need your support”.

Recounting how the incident happened, the Chairman of Traders’ Association in the market, Alhaji Adamu Abdulhameed, said the fire surged around 4pm from a generating set and spread to other adjoining shops, including a cold room and razed them down.

He said; “We tried our best to quench the fire. We were in the mosque when it started, but the fire was beyond our control.

“The severity of the fire incident wouldn’t have got to this level if we have a fire service station here that could have responded swiftly and in a better manner”.

In similar fashion, the Iyaloja of Shasha Market, Chief (Mrs) Feyisayo Ayajo, made a passionate appeal to the government to establish a Fire Service Station in the market to always respond to any arson incident timeously.

“This market is big and viable enough to a fire service station. We plead with the Governor to kindly look at this demand and act appropriately to our request. Losing our property to fire can cripple our businesses and render us economically unviable.”

See pictures from the visit below: