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Aba market fire: Gov Otti visits scene, stresses need to factor in safety in market designs

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Aba market fire: Gov Otti visits scene, stresses need to factor in safety in market designs

Dr. Alex Otti, OFR, Abia State governor, has stressed the need for markets in the state to be properly designed and built so as to allow for ease of movement, especially in the event of fire outbreak or any other emergency situation.

Governor Otti spoke Tuesday morning, when he paid an on the spot visit to a section of the Ehere Market, along Ikot Ekpene Road, Aba, occupied by timber dealers, which was gutted by fire Monday night.

He regretted that the way the market was built made it open to fire incidents and directed the Mayor of Obingwa Local Government Area, Dr. Eric Egwuibe, to immediately begin the process of rebuilding the market.

Aba market fire: Gov Otti visits scene, stresses need to factor in safety in market designs

Aba market fire

“What we will do is to assess the level of damage. We will also through the Mayor begin the process of rebuilding this place.

“I think the way the market is makes it susceptible to fire incident. You know, where you have wood, you have saw dust; these are very expensive woods, and so we need to ensure there are fire extinguishers in all the shops around here.

“We also want the shops to be properly built because the way it is, it is easy to conduct fire to other shops. Even the way the entire place looks, it is not very decent and very inviting. So I will like you to trade in an environment that is conducive,” Governor Otti said.

Aba market fire: Gov Otti visits scene, stresses need to factor in safety in market designs

He added: “So I’m giving an instruction to the Mayor to assess the level of damage and begin the process of rebuilding, bring down all those ramshackle buildings and build proper shops for all of you.”

The Governor, who noted that on getting information about the disaster, he quickly alerted men of the Homeland Security and Fire Service to put out the fire, thanked God that no life was lost in the inferno, which consumed several shops.

He assured that fire extinguishers will be procured and placed strategically in the market to enable traders tackle such outbreaks in future.

Governor Otti, according to a statement by Kazie Uko, his chief press secretary, said his vision is to ensure that traders operate in a conducive environment fit for trading and assured that government will access the level of damage with a view to supporting them to replace their lost goods.

“The details of how it would be done would be worked out. One thing I can assure you is that if you do have a shop here, you will not lose your shop. We also know that this damage would have cost a lot of loss to the owners, by the time we do the assessment, we will see how we can support them,” he added.

Governor Otti also inspected an accident scene, on the same Ikot Ekpene Road, a short distance away from the market, towards the Aba Waterside, involving a trailer loaded with bags of cement.

The accident which happened Monday night saw the trailer skidding off the main road and slamming into a business building. No life was lost in the accident as the driver of the trailer and his conductor were pulled out of the wrecked vehicle.

The Governor directed the Director General of Greater Aba Development Authority (GADA), Arch Uche Ukeje, who accompanied him on the visits to liaise with the police to ensure immediate evacuation of the damaged trailer.

Aba market fire: Gov Otti visits scene, stresses need to factor in safety in market designs

 

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