Goods worth over N10 million were consumed by fire at the popular Nkwo Ngwa Market in Aba, Abia State. The inferno, which started at about 7.15 p.m., yesterday consumed the building materials and furniture sections of the market located at Obohia Road, Aba.
Eyewitnesses told Vanguard it started through the ignition of a power generator and spread to the carpentry and building materials sections of the market. Chairman of Nkwo Ngwa Market, Prince Okechukwu Lawrence, said goods worth over N10 million were lost to the inferno as hoodlums frustrated rescue efforts and looted shops.
He lamented that the hoodlums also looted shops in other sections of the market, which were not affected by the fire and urged security agencies to help provide security in the area. The chairman further said that the dilapidated state of the Obohia Road made it difficult for the fire service men to access the market on time and urged the state government to urgently rehabilitate the road.
According to Lawrence, “I got information about 7.15p.m. that the market was on fire. We broke down the gates of the market for sympathisers to help us before the fire service came to the area.
“We even opened our boreholes to help provide water. But hoodlums broke into shops and looted them.
“The Aro cult boys broke into the other sections of the market, which was not affected by the fire and stole bags of rice, stock fish, clothing and other goods. The Aro cult boys have been our problem.”
Police Commissioner reacts
Abia State Commissioner of Police, Chris Ezike, who inspected the burnt section of the market, said the market was “not in a good shape” as it is filled with inflammable materials.
He urged the traders to be calm as the Police have taken over the scene, adding that investigation is ongoing.