Atiku condoles with victims of Yola market fire

Atiku Abubakar

Former Vice President and chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Atiku Abubakar Monday expressed sadness at the fire that engulfed the popular Yola Central Market, in Yola, Adamawa State.

The inferno was believed to have consumed about 90 percent of shops.

In a press statement released in Abuja through his media office, the former Vice President said the fire incident is one too many and calls on authorities in charge of public places like markets, schools and factories to be extra vigilant at this period of the year.

The Turaki Adamawa said that fire incidents during this period of harmattan can be quite devastating in its impact because of the prevalence of the dry trade wind blowing from the North east part of the country and which tends to lend a helping hand to otherwise containable fire outbreak to get out of hand.

The APC chieftain recalled that valuable property running into millions and at times human lives have been lost to devastating fires in many parts of the country of recent. He called on the management of the Yola Central Market and other markets and places of business susceptible to fire outbreaks to work out ways and means of reducing fire outbreaks to the barest minimum.

Atiku Abubakar also challenged the various fire services in the country to improve on the readiness and preparedness to deal with fire outbreaks to reduce losses and the trauma usually caused the victims.

The fire reportedly started at about 2:30 a.m. and went out of control as initial efforts to put it out was stymied by lack of access roads in the market.

A shop owner, Babayola Maijimilla, whose shop was also razed, 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 found it difficult to gain access to the point of the inferno as the market did not have access roads.”

Some of the affected shop owners interviewed said they lost everything they toiled for in life and called on the government to come to their aid.

The Chairman, Adamawa Traders Association, popularly called Gamzaki Traders Association, Ibrahim Mohammad, appealed to the Federal, State and Local Governments to come to their aid, saying they lost 90 percent of their shops to the inferno.