- Blank NEWS Online (NIGERIA) -By Mabamije Balogun
A section of the Ughelli Main Market that leads to Oteri Community was today gutted by fire destroying goods worth millions of naira.
The cause of the fire could not be ascertained but an unconfirmed account however disclosed that it started from a welding workshop where adulterated kerosene was kept and spread to other stores in the area.
The welder who was not in the workshop at the time of the fire incidence but was called by friends expressed shock that everything he laboured for had been destroyed by the fire.
Reports said efforts of the Delta State Fire Service spirited efforts from market women, Okada riders and passersby kept the fire from spreading far into the market until the arrival of the SPDC Fire Fighters vehicle which finally put out the fire.
Our correspondent reported that one of the victims, popularly known as Madam Bead, an elderly woman, was seen weeping and wailing over what she lost to the fire.
According to her, she just returned from Onitsha market a few days ago to stock her store in preparation for the yuletide before the fire destroyed everything.
While being consoled by friends, she appealed to the state government to come to her aid to ameliorate her suffering.
Others affected included a welding workshop, part of Akpovoka Cold Room and provision stores.
Meanwhile, some market women have vowed not to pay the yearly state fire service bill, stressing that they were not able to render the needed services at crucial time.
According to one of the market women who spoke in Pidgin English and refused to disclose her name, “Me I no go pay this money again. This people collect money finish but dem nor fit help us when we need them.”
At the time of filing this report, the market was in disarray with police officers guiding the affected section of the market.