Governor Okezie Ikpeazu has assured victims of the fire incident at a section of the Timber Industrial Market, Umuahia, that the State Government would assist in rebuilding the market as well as aid in replacing the machines that got burnt during the inferno.
The Governor gave the assurance when he paid an unscheduled visit to the market to see things for himself. He directed the leadership of the market to come up with a list of equipment and estimate of articles that were lost in the incident and bring them to a meeting with him and the Commissioner for Trade & Investment which would be convened soon.
The Governor who expressed grief over the huge loss and sympathized with the affected traders and described the fire outbreak as very unfortunate, noting that it is a very bad way to begin the year.
He however called on the victims not to be discouraged by the incident but forge ahead with their businesses since there was no loss of life.
He said investigation must be done to identify the remote and immediate cause of the inferno as it would help to prevent further occurrence. He also streessed the need for all to apply caution especially during this harmattan period.
Governor Ikpeazu equally encouraged them to be calm and never loose faith in God and prayed that God would strengthen them to work harder to achieve a better 2020.
Also speaking, the Commissioner for Trade & Investment, Rt. Hon. Dr. Cosmas Ndukwe commiserated with the affected traders and described the incident as a painful one. He encouraged them not to demoralised and thanked God that no life was lost.
Earlier, the Management Committee Chairman of Timber Market, Mr. Austin Onyenweaku narrated their ordeal, explaining how men of the Fire Service tried their best to salvage the situation on that fateful day but all to no avail.
He disclosed that forty eight (48) machines and a Lister Generating Set were lost including wood and other articles and thanked the Governor, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu for coming to see things for himself.
It could be recalled that this early January, fire engulfed a section of the Timber Market and property worth millions of naira got burnt.
The Member representing Umuahia East at the Abia State House of Assembly, Hon. Chukwudi Apugo was also a part of the Governor’s entourage.