Delta state government has promised to come up with a comprehensive work plan to enable needed assistance for victims of the fire disaster at Ogbe Ijoh market in Warri South Local Government Area.
Governor Ifeanyi Okowa gave the assurance when he visited the market to ascertain the extent of damage to the facility which had witnessed a number of fire incidents before now.
The State Governor, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa represented by his Deputy, Deacon Kingsley Otuaro who was accompanied on the visit by the Commissioner, Bureau for Special Duties, Mr Johnbull Edema and the Warri South Council Chairman, Dr Michael Tidi, said government was concerned over the incessant fire disasters at the Ogbe Ijoh market.
Emphasising that the market was very important to the people of the area, the Governor assured that the state government would liaise with the Warri South Council, the Bureau for Special Duties and the market leadership to properly determine the losses incurred by traders.
The Governor observed that Ogbe Ijoh market was originally designed with a fire service station, police station and other facilities stressing that government needed to look critically into what had over time caused fire disasters in the market.
He commiserated with the affected traders especially those who lost all their wares to the inferno, urging all traders in the market to be vigilant to forestall any reoccurrence.
Chairman of Ogbe Ijoh Market, Comrade Godwin Eneghan said the fire disaster occurred last Sunday at about 1:30pm with several goods and other properties destroyed in the inferno emphasizing that nothing was rescued from the market.
He said the fire disaster had made life difficult for the traders who depended on their stores for economic livelihood and blamed the incident on a deaf and dumb refuse collector whose cooking fire near a shop became uncontrollable.
Comrade Eneghan appealed to the state government to as a matter of urgency complete the long-abandoned Ogbe Ijoh market which was designed with modern facilities such as a fire service station and police station among others noting that the abandonment of the market project allowed the building of makeshift stores around and within the market to earn a living.
Recounting their losses some of the traders lamented that they lost their entire shops to the fire disaster and wondered how they would be able to pay back monies borrowed from cooperative societies and money lenders with which they had funded their businesses.
They appealed to the state government to assist them financially to enable them to restart their businesses.