By Uche Amunike
Good worth millions of Naira have been razed down by the Bodija market fire outbreak which occurred, Monday, leaving about 38 shops burnt beyond redemption.
According to eyewitnesses, the affected shops were completely burnt to ashes before officers and men of the Oyo State Fire Service could be of help.
The tragedy of the Bodija market fire started at about 4.30am, Monday. According to the eyewitnesses, they first witnessed heavy smoke that eventually snowballed into a thick flame. This inferno started from the Ori-Ile end of the market.
Usually, such incidents give criminals the opportunity to take advantage of the situation and loot people’s shops. This made so many traders rush to the scene of the tragic incident in order to prevent such occurrence from taking place.
The affected traders lamented over the losses they incurred and cried out to the government and well meaning Nigerians to come to their aid by offering them support.
Some traders expressed their gratitude to the fire fighters who eventually put out the fire, as the situation would have been more disastrous if the fire had spread to the entire parts of the market.
So many traders are still counting their losses from the Bodija Market fire. Sadly, the cause of the fire was yet to be ascertained as at the time of filing this report. According to the Director of Operations, Oyo State Fire Service, Mr Ismail Adeleke, they received the call at 5:35am and swiftly moved to the market and put out the fire immediately. He confirmed that no life was lost and nobody sustained any injuries.
Hear him: ‘There was no loss of life and nobody was injured in the incident. We were informed late. We didn’t receive any call from the people in the market. It was a policeman in Yemetu area that called and we responded swiftly.’
He advised residents in the state to endeavor to put safety measures in place in order to prevent such fire outbreaks in the future and to always call fire service immediately there is an outbreak.
One of the traders, Abdullahi Akande who was affected by the Bodija Fire outbreak was full of grief when he spoke to our reporter. His words: ‘I heard about the fire incident around 5 am. I rushed down to this place immediately. But how the gore started I did not know. But my shop was on fire when I got here. I could not move closer. But everything had been completely razed in the shop before help came from firefighters.’
‘Honestly, I don’t know where to start again. Everything gone. Again, I kept a large sum of money in the shop because I did not want to spend it during the Ileya festival. I will not disclose the amount because people will blame me. If I had known, I would have taken the money home. Let me appeal to the government and individuals to help us to start life again.’
The Bodija Market is situated in the Aare Latoya Local Council Development Area ( LCDA) and was carved out from the Ibadan North Local Government Area of Oyo State.