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Gov. Makinde Pledges Palliatives For Market Fire Victims

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Governor ‘Seyi Makinde of Oyo State has expressed his administration’s readiness to give palliatives to victims of the fire outbreak at the Araromi Spare Parts Market, Agodi-Gate area of Ibadan.

The governor spoke on Sunday during a visit to the burnt market, which went up in flames in the early hours of Saturday.

The governor, who inspected the market alongside top government functionaries, expressed shock and sadness over the loss of goods worth millions of naira and promised to hold a meeting with the leaders of the market in a bid to find common grounds on the way forward.

He said, “I greet every one of you here this afternoon. I have seen the extent of destruction and I know how important this market is to the economy of Oyo State. I was here during the electioneering and interacted with you. I am still trying to process in my head the way forward, but I want to let you know that the government will come to your aid.

“We won’t allow you to bear the burden alone. So, I will ask the leadership to send your representatives. And by tomorrow (Monday), we will sit together and look at the immediate palliatives we can do for you.

“The second thing is that I want all of you to go and think about it very well; is it time for us to move this market to a far more organised setting? Please, think about it. Do we need to move this market to a better place that will be more comfortable and spacious for everyone to stay in? It is a decision that we need to all take together, because I don’t want any reoccurrence of this in the state. And the only way for us to ensure that we don’t witness anything like this again is for us to sit down and think of a solution that will endure.”

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Makinde asked the leaders of the market to compile the list of shop owners who were affected by the fire, adding, “Within the next one or two weeks, the state will take a decision on the market generally.”

He stressed that even if the market would remain in the present location, “we need to see how we can arrange ourselves such that this kind of thing won’t happen again.”

While expressing sympathy with the victims of the inferno, the governor stated that the decision on whether the market would be relocated or not would be taken collectively by the government and representatives of the traders.

He directed the market leaders to organise themselves and send their representatives to his office today (Monday) for a crucial deliberation on the way forward.

The President of the market traders, Mr Moruf Olanrewaju, who took the governor and his entourage round the market to see the level of destruction, appealed that they should come to the aid of his members.

It was learnt that the inferno started from the tyre section of the market before it spread to other parts.

PUNCH

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