NIGERIA: Boxing day inferno, traders want panel to act fast

45, Ojogiwa Street, Jankara area of Idumota market, Lagos, razed by firecrackers, December 26.Okoya/Ojogiwa Traders Association has called on the three-man panel set up by the Lagos State government to act fast in ascertaining the cause(s) of the inferno that has crippled the businesses of most of its members.

The traders have also thrown their weight behind Lagos State governor Babatunde Fashola, for inaugurating the panel,  saying the culprit behind the explosion must be brought to book.

The traders who spoke through their chairman, Mr. Cletus Nnadiukwu, said this will help in finding a lasting solution to the frequent occurrence of fire outbreaks at the market and in the process forestall future occurrences.

Nnadiukwu also called for thorough investigations without fear or favour, saying the traders will offer necessary assistance where necessary. ‘’We are happy that a panel has been set up and we hope it will visit the market in the course of its investigations not minding whose ox is gored. We believe their visit will put a stop to such ugly incidents,’’ they said.

‘’We have lost all our life savings and belongings in one day. Many of us can no longer afford to feed our families. We don’t want the panel to treat the issue with a kid’s glove. The government should help fish out those who perpetrated this evil that has brought this suffering on us; they should also  come to our aid by releasing some funds to us as we are law abiding citizens of Lagos State,’’ said Nnadiukwu.

Going down memory lane, the chairman said the fire crackers that caused the explosion, were brought in on the midnight of the said day amidst tight security provided by armed Mobile police men numbering over a dozen. That has always been a routine thing whenever they’re bringing in these dangerous items.

‘’The place was always under lock and key but the revelation got to us on the said day that the items were dynamites which were in no way safe to be stocked in a residential or commercial area. The dealer is said to live at Dosumu Street on Lagos Island and he deals on fireworks. Most of us deal on kitchen utensils, not fireworks. So, it is highly impossible for such items which are not highly inflammable to have caused the inferno.

“Nobody could precisely tell the cause of the fire outbreak but our members saw dynamites flying in the air, taking off from No 45 Ojogiwa Street and crashing into surrounding buildings and in the process causing the inferno”.

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