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Tragedy in Ebonyi as fire destroys goods worth millions

By Charles Onyekwere

A popular Eke market in Afikpo town, Afikpo North Local Government Area of Ebonyi State has been completely razed down by fire.

The unfortunate incident destroyed goods worth millions of naira including shops but no death was recorded.

The cause of the fire was yet to be ascertained but the traders who were taken unawares made frantic efforts to save their goods without success because of the intensity of the fire. The Trumpet Gathered

It was learnt that the Ebonyi State Fire Service station in Afikpo could not mobilize to quench the raging inferno because its equipment was not functioning.

This made the youths of the Area to mobilize and stop the fire from escalating.

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Early callers to the scene of the incident included the Chairman of Afikpo North Local Government Area, Oby Oko Enyim who visited at about 6:35am on Wednesday.

The Council boss who arrived at the scene of the fire outbreak to ascertain the level of damage sympathized with the victims.

“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”, she admonished the victims.

Enyim was taken round the scene of the fire disaster by the Chairman of Afikpo Market Traders Association (AMATA), Mr Johnson Inya Oka.

Mr Oka said many of the traders lost everything to the inferno and called on government agencies in charge of disaster management to come to the aid of the victims.

Responding, the Council Chairman described the incident as pathetic and promised that the Government at the Local government level would in its capacity make sure the basic things are put in place to prevent a reoccurrence.

A statement by the spokesperson of the Council, Suny Nkama quoted the Council Chairman as promising that action will be initiated to unravel the cause of the inferno.

She however advised traders at the market to cultivate the habit of turning off their electrical appliances to avert future occurrences.

Meanwhile, the Member representing Afikpo North East Constituency in Ebonyi State House of Assembly, Lilian Ngọzi Eziulo has sympathized with victims of the fire disaster.

In a statement on Wednesday, the Lawmaker also commended the youths who helped in putting off the fire before it could turn down the entire market.

She said:”I sympathize with victims of Afikpo fire outbreak that took place at Eke Market Motor Park at about 10 pm on 12th July 2022″

“With sincere heart filled with sympathy and empathy knowing fully well the consequences of this disaster on those directly affected, I pray you shall recover all you have lost in Jesus name Amen”.

“To Afikpo youths who volunteered to quench the fire amidst the intensity and absence of Fire service Agency at the time they were most needed God will reward you here on Earth and in Heaven for your contribution and selfless service.

“Afikpo North be consoled and remember the word of God in psalm 34:18″The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit”, the statement read.

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