CONSEQUENT upon recurring fire outbreak at the Baboko market, popularly known as Oja- Tuntun in Ilorin, Kwara State, there are efforts by the State Government to establish fire service station in markets across the 16 local government areas and congested areas in the state.
The Special Assistant on Emergency Matters to the Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed, Hon. Abdullahi Duro Mohammed yesterday told National Pilot that efforts are in the pipeline by the present administration in the state to locate fire stations in Offa Garage, Akerebiata, Oko-Olowo, and some other congested areas within Ilorin metropolis.
He said the economic recession caused setback for realisation of the goal a long time ago, adding that the fire outbreak at Oja-Tuntun will propel the state government to take urgent steps in that direction.
On the mysterious midnight fire at the market last Saturday, he said:
“Government wants to know how the fire came about; it is interested in it, that will hasten plans to rebuild the market. I can count the number of times the market has been gutted by fire since I resume this office. So, something must be done to reveal the mystery behind it.”
The governor’s aide who alleged arson, said a committee had been set up to investigate cause of the fire incident.
According to him “On Saturday, I was at the Oja-Tuntun by 3am, when I got there to see the damage the fire has caused, I met the DPO in charge of Kulende police station directing his men on how to save the situation, every right thinking man will know that the fire is not natural.
“We have Ipata market, Kulende, and many others, Why is it that it is only Oja-Tuntun that records fire incidents always. A woman told us that the fire was caused by electric spark in one of the shops, but how did it escalate to the extent that 40 shops were razed, and why is it that only the provision shops were affected?” he queried.
He disclosed that his office will embark on inspection tour of the market on Monday (today) in order to ascertain extent of damage and to facilitate means of compensating those that were affected by the fire outbreak.
Meanwhile, following the inferno that razed the Oja-tuntun market last Friday, market women and men have been called to saving their money in the bank imbibe and avoid keeping cash in shops.
A former Councillor in Ilorin West Local Government Area, Honourable Abdulraheem Ajadi, made the call through a statement signed and made available to this medium on Wednesday.
He attributed the incessant fire outbreaks in the market in a spate of three years to activities of men of the underworld, to cover up their tracks.