By; BAYO AKAMO, Ibadan
It was confusion galore at the Sango plank market in Ibadan on Friday as an early morning inferno razed over 100 shops with other property worth millions of Naira lost to the fire incident.
New Nigerian gathered that the fire reportedly engulfed the wooden door selling section of the market at about 3.15am and that the fire quickly spread into many of the shops in the section.
It was learnt that the residents around the plank market on sighting the flames immediately raised alarm after which the people of the area especially those living at the nearby Alaro area and Oke Itunu were promptly alerted through the intermitent alarm raised from a nearby mosque.
Eye witness account said during the inferno which lasted for about 47minutes, several completed wooden doors awaiting delivery were burnt to ashes while many power generating sets, planks of various sizes as well as other personal belongings of traders in the affected section of the plank market were lost to the inferno
According to an eye witness report, it was the intervention of men of the Oyo State Fire Service that prevented the fire from spreading into other parts of the plank market as well as to the nearby houses .
Oyo State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Abiodun Odude; caretaker chairman of Irepo Local Council Development Area, Mr. Bolaji Abayomi; and the Divisional Police Officer in charge of Sango police divisional headquarters early in the day visited the scene.
Confirming the visit of CP Odude to the plank market, the Police Public Relations Officer for Oyo State Police Command, SP Adekunle Ajisebutu declared that the CP’s visit was to see things for himself and assess the level of damage in the market.
SP Ajisebutu stressed that during the visit to the Sango plank market, CP Odude assured traders at the market of their security and adequate investigation on the fire incident.
Commenting on the incident, the Chairman, Ibadan and Area Carpenters’ Association, Ibadan North, in the plank market, Mr. Abdul-Akeem Olanrewaju, alleged that the early morning inferno in the market may have been caused by suspected arsonists, saying, “we have a law that every shop must close by 7p.m. We also have a task force team that usually goes out after the close of the market to ensure that no electrical appliance or machine is left connected to power supply. We also have night guards. But this fire disaster, I don’t think, was from power supply and or from our machines.”
When our cirrespondent visited the market on Friday, many of the affected plank traders and carpenters were seen weeping uncontrollably while others were busy removing their wooden doors and planks to a safe area in the market.
Also, some of the affected traders and carpenters with many sympathisers were sighted in groups lamenting the havoc caused by the early morning fire.