Sad Christmas for traders as mystery fire destroys Onitsha market


Jeff Amechi Agbodo, Onitsha

Mysterious fire has razed goods worth millions of naira at yam, hotel, carpentry, and foam sections of Bridgehead market, Onitsha, Anambra State.

The cause of the inferno is yet to be ascertained as at the time of filing this report.

An eyewitnesses said that fire started at about 8.30 a.m when the traders were opening their shops and raged for about an hour before the traders themselves controlled it.

The president-general of Bridgehead Markets Traders Union, Chief Sunday Obinze who conducted newsmen round the scene, said they were suspecting an electrical fault.

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Some of the goods destroyed by the inferno in about 40 shops affected before the traders used their own fire extinguishers, were tubers of yam, wooden doors, and chairs, assorted sizes of foams, sawing machines and many crates of soft drinks.

Some of the victims, Jude Nwufo who lost the wooden doors and chairs, Daniel Achu who lost saw machines and Remy Chinedu Okeke who lost crates of soft drinks, appealed to the state government to come to their aid to enable them to bounce back to business.

Secretary of big yam sellers association, Collins Onwunali who described the quantum of damages as enormous, however, thanked God that no single life was lost in the inferno.

Meanwhile, the leadership of the Bridgehead market has placed a ban on the use of naked fire by the hoteliers or even smoking inside the market, with effect from January 1, 2020.

At an emergency meeting all the sectional heads of the market, presided over by the president-general of Bridgehead market traders association, Sunday Obinze, shortly after the inferno, the sectional heads agreed that although the market would officially close today, December 24 and re-open on Monday, January 6, the January 1, deadline is to ensure that hoteliers would no longer use kerosene, gas or any other naked fire to cook inside the market, or tolerate smoking.


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