robbers loot goods and money as merchants seek Vike’s support
Traders and shopkeepers whose goods and property were destroyed in a fire at a marketplace on Bishop Okoye Street on the Third Mile in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, sought help from Governor Niesom Wicke.
Likewise, a separate outbreak of fire left dozens of residents of the Main Odum Ogunabali area in Port Harcourt homeless as temporary homes were destroyed.
Two outbreaks of fire on Friday destroyed the assets and property of millions of nairas, as more than ten shops and warehouses were destroyed, more than 20 makeshift buildings were demolished by Ogunabali fire, and victims turned to the state for help. government.
Our correspondent, who visited Bishop Okoye’s street market, reported that food packages such as rice, beans, harry and drinks were lost as a result of the fire as some of the victims tried to collect the remains.
Eyewitnesses said that in addition to the goods lost in the fire, the thugs took advantage of the situation to enter some closed shops and collect items, including cash.
Although it was not possible to establish the direction of the fire, eyewitnesses stated that they suspected that a woman who lived in one of the shops had left something she was cooking unattended.
The fire lasted more than five hours, eyewitnesses said, saying the Rivers State Fire Department had reacted early, but they didn’t have enough water in the truck, as young people in the area also had water to put out the fire just after midnight.
Speaking about the incident, Bishop Okoy, president of the shopkeepers Uche Okeke, condemned the scale of the robberies committed by the thugs.
“The crowd here was in abundance. 80% of the people here are not traders, some of them are thugs. They only came to break into people’s stores and steal their goods. The fire was something of a mystery, ”he said.
When asked about the number of shops burned, he said, “We didn’t count the number. But I can tell you that all the warehouses of the food market on Bishop Okoye Street burned down.
Burnt foods are rice, beans, harry, peanut butter, flour and drinks. Because of the robberies, there was a policeman of the third mile division with his men, and he called for reinforcements from behind the crowd, but they did not come to his aid, and because of this we have many victims.
“The River State Fire Service arrived, but if they had arrived earlier, the fire would have been extinguished within an hour. Even when they arrived, they ran out of water. We stayed here until midnight.
“Some guys were here to help stop the fire, others raided shops, even those who weren’t hit by the fire.”
One of the victims, Elder Kenan Lucky, said he lost more than 1,800 bags of cement because his store was completely burned down.
“I have about three trucks here loaded with items, but you can see that they all left. What can I say, I would be grateful if our governor can help us financially and also help rebuild this place for us. Some bad guys went to smash my other store, which was not damaged by the fire, and took all the money out of the safe, ”he said in an emotionally charged voice.
Attempts to contact Nnamdi Omoni, a spokesman for the State Police Command, were unsuccessful as he did not respond to calls made by our correspondent at the time of submitting this report.
Meanwhile, the patrol officers arrested a man they said was identified as one of the suspects who had stolen objects during the hell.
Source: – Punch Ng