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Fire: Satana market traders recount loses

Traders at  Satana market in Benin have recounted their loses they suffered when fire razed down more than 100 shops on Saturday. Goods worth millions…

Traders at  Satana market in Benin have recounted their loses they suffered when fire razed down more than 100 shops on Saturday.

Goods worth millions of naira were destroyed following the inferno leaving some of the affected traders with  the thought of how to pick up their lives again.

A cross section of some of the traders told Niger Delta Trust that they lost everything they have been working for to the inferno.

“How will I pay back my loan now that my goods have been destroyed by the fire,’’ asked Madam Edobor, who said she had lost everything that was in her shop.

“I took a loan of  N2.5 million to purchase goods in anticipation of Christmas sales but my shops were all destroyed in the fire.

“They called me that my shop was in in flames. There was nothing I could bring out because the fire burnt my goods completely. I bought rice, groundnut oil and tomatoes for this Christmas season market,’’ she said.

Another trader, a widow with five children, Madam Ero, said that she lost all her goods to the fire.

“My  husband died eight months ago. It was people that encouraged me to start coming to market. Now I am without a husband and a means of livelihood to take care of the children.

“As I speak with you now, we are in pains. We do not know where to start and how to get money to start up my business again. I am a widow, I have no helper, my children have nothing, I am the only one catering for their needs,” she said.

Also speaking, 38-year-old Mrs. Glory Imafidon, lamented said she lost over N4 million goods to the fire incident.

“I have been planning  for my  father’s 90th birthday but  has to stop it because I banked on sales from my shop and the shop is gone.”

“I  sell rice and other food stuff. I borrowed money from LAPO organisation to start up this business but everything is gone.”

She called on the federal government to come to her aid in order to resuscitate her business.

On her part, Mrs. Evelyn Okundaye, accompanied by her husband, said life has not been fair to her this period.

“I sell bags of rice, foodstuffs. It has not been very easy coping after losing my goods to the fire incident,” she said.

“On that fateful Saturday, we just stocked the store with goods worth about N4m. They called us at about 12 pm that the market was on fire and before we got here everything was razed down,” she said.

Other traders, who also spoke to Niger Delta Trust, called on both the state and local governments to come to their aid.

Meanwhile, the Chairman, Ikpoba-Okha local government council, Dr. Eric Osayande, assured the affected traders that government would investigate the cause of the fire  with a view to preventing future occurrence.

He promised that the local government would take their case with the state government for assistance.

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