In the wake of the Tuesday morning fire incident that razed the Sokoto Central market, the state Governor, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal has appointed a high-powered committee to investigate the incident and make recommendations to the state government.
Parts of Shehu Shagari Modern Market in Sokoto, popularly called New Market, were on Tuesday destroyed by early morning fire.
NAN reports that the inferno started around 6 a.m. and continued to ravage shops at the market till midday, as some yet to be affected traders trooped to evacuate their goods before the raging fire reached their shops.
The combined team of Sokoto State Fire Service, Federal Fire Service, National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), and State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) battled to put out the fire.
Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Nigerian Security and Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC) and men of the Nigerian Police were also on hand to maintain safety and security.
Gov. Tambuwal, who aborted an official trip outside the state to visit the Gandu scene of the fire disaster, appointed the committee saying it will be inaugurated soon.
Headed by the state Deputy Governor, Hon.Manir Muhammad Dan’Iya, the committee has been mandated to: 1) ascertain the remote and immediate causes of the inferno, 2) assess the extent of the damages wrought by the incident, 3) recommend compensation for.those who lost their property; and, 4) make recommendations on how to forestall future occurrence.
Other members of the Committee are the Chairman of the State House of Assembly (SOHA) Committee on Commerce, the Commissioners for Commerce; and, Lands and Housing, Hon. Bashir Gidado as well as Hon. Aminu Bala Bodinga.
The rest are; the representative of the Sultanate Council, the Director-General of the Central Market, Director-General of the state Fire Service, Alhaji Ibrahim Milgoma, the President of the state Chamber of Commerce, the respective Chairmen of the state Traders Association and the Central Market Traders, Shiekh Bello Yabo and Alhaji Namadina Abdul-Rahman.
NAN, however, observed that attachment shops and other illegal structures erected at the market roads prevented fire engines good access to affected shops in the market.
Bulldozers were deployed to remove the temporary and illegal structures in order to facilitates more access to fire engines and officials.
A trader, Muhammad Bawa, told NAN that he lost goods worth N2 million as he could not remove anything from his shop.
NAN correspondent at the scene of the incident reports that scores of sympathisers and relatives of traders besieged the market to offer help, even as police apprehended some looters who were caught stealing from the shops.