Benue State governor, Samuel Ortom on Wednesday promised to release the sum of N50 million to traders whose shops were razed by fire at the Makurdi Modern Market on Tuesday night.
No fewer than 200 shops were burnt by the fire which also destroyed goods. The fire started around 7:30 p.m., shortly after the traders had closed for the day.
Ortom, who visited the market for an on-the-spot assessment lamented the extent of damage and called on the affected traders to have faith in God saying, “When there is life, there is hope.
“This is one incident too many. I recall that we had fire incidences at Gboko Market, Wadata Market and now Modern Market.
“And for Modern Market, this is the third time it is happening within a few years.
“This alone is one too many and we do not deserve it again. We pray it never happens again (but) we must take some proactive steps to ensure it doesn’t happen again.”
Ortom promised the traders that the state government would not abandon them during their moment of trial.
He said that a commission of inquiry would be set up to identify the immediate and remote causes of all the fire incidences in the markets so as to ensure that such an incident does not happen again.
The governor, who lamented the destruction caused by the inferno, said that billions of naira had been lost.
He said that the Commission would among other things look into the issues surrounding the suspension of the market union as well as seek ways to ensure that all parts of the market which had been burnt down were rebuilt.
Speaking earlier, the Ter Makurdi, HRH Sule Abenga, who sympathized with all the affected traders urged them not to despair but trust in God to bring them out of the predicament.
The traditional ruler who noted that the fire incidence had affected the economy of the state also called on the federal government to assist the state government in ameliorating the plight of the people.