Goods worth millions of naira were yesterday destroyed by a fire that razed a section of the popular Eke market in Afikpo, in Afikpo North Local Council of Ebonyi State.
Although the cause of the fire was yet to be ascertained, traders who were taken unawares made frantic efforts to save their goods without success because of the intensity of the fire.
The Guardian gathered that Ebonyi State Fire Service station in Afikpo could not be mobilised to contain the raging inferno because its equipment was not functioning, thereby leaving youths to mobilise and douse the fire from escalating.
Confirming the incident, the Chairman of Afikpo North Local Council, Oby Oko Enyim, who visited the scene at about 6:30 a.m., described the incident as pathetic.
He promised that the council would in its capacity ensure that basic things are put in place to prevent a recurrence.
Enyim, who was taken around the scene by the Chairman of Afikpo Market Traders Association (AMATA), Mr. Johnson Inya Oka, said she was at the scene to sympathise with the victims, ascertain the level of damage and have first hand information on what caused the fire.
She said: “So far as there is life, there is hope. Don’t lose hope or give up because of this. You shall all overcome this setback.”
Oka told the chairman that many of the traders lost everything to the inferno and called on government agencies in charge of disaster management to come to their aid.