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Fire razes 900 shops at Bida market

A Thursday night fire has destroyed goods and properties worth over N3 billion at Bida old market in Niger State, the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports.

The fire, which started at about 8.30 p.m., razed down the entire market.

Witnesses said firemen from the Bida Fire Service station and Federal Polytechnic, who arrived early were unable to save the situation.

Alhaji Mohammad Bagudu, Chairman of Bida Local Government Area, told NAN that the entire market of over 900 shops was burnt to ashes.

“It happened just last night and we are here today to assess the situation. I can’t say anything about the cause for now; we will investigate the matter and then know the next line of action.

“Commercial activities in Bida and entire zone A is crippled as thousands of bags of rice, maize, plastics, beverages, garri, yam flour are among the items burnt to ashes,” Bagudu said.

A trader, Alhaji Ahmed Ibrahim, who lost three shops to the fire said, “I received a call around 9:15 pm on Thursday night that the market is burning and my shops are among those affected.

“I left my house immediately and when I got to the market, I became helpless as I could not do anything to salvage the situation.

“I have just received consignment from Lagos; I am finished, the fire has destroyed me completely,” he said,

Another trader, Alhaji Isa Kabiru said: “I have over 700 bags of rice, maize and vegetable oil all destroyed in seven different shops in this market.”

Also, Alhaji Danlami Abubakar, a rice dealer said he lost over 800 bags of rice and two shops loaded with household items.

Similarly, Hajiya Rabi Abubakar described the tragedy as an act of God.

“God gave us and has taken it back; I have taken the entire incident as an act of God.

“As I am talking to you, four of the shop owners have been taken to Bida General Hospital, right now we don’t know their conditions.”

A textile materials dealer, Hajiya Kande Habu, who said she lost five shops to the fire, urged government and well meaning Nigerians to support the victims in cushioning their losses. (NAN)

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