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Page 3 Fire destroys 600 shops at Kano Singer market From Yusha’u A. Ibrahim, Kano A fire at the Singer Market in Kano yesterday destroyed…

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Fire destroys 600 shops at Kano Singer market

From Yusha’u A. Ibrahim, Kano

A fire at the Singer Market in Kano yesterday destroyed over 600 shops and property yet to be financially estimated.

The market is reputed to be one of the biggest in West Africa. It is patronised by traders from Borno, Zamfara, Katsina, Bauchi, Gombe, Yobe and Kebbi and other northern states. It also gets merchants from Niger Republic, Chad, Cameroon, Ghana and Central African Republic.

At about 3pm when our reporter visited the burning market, men of the state fire service and traders were making frantic efforts to put out the fire which started early in the morning, allegedly from a commercial tea seller’s shop and spread to the Abdulrashid Hamza Maiturare complex.

The state chairman of the Amalgamated

Traders Association (AMATA), Alhaji Umaru Usaini Gabari, decried the habit of some tea sellers who operate around shops.

He said: “We are suspecting that the fire started from a tea seller’s joint and spread to some nearby temporary popcorn shops and then to the main building. We have lost billions of naira worth of property

to the disaster.”

Gabari said it was difficult for fire fighters to quickly put out the fire because of poor access roads into the market.

The director, Kano State Fire Service Department, Alhaji Balarabe Habu Kabara, said the fire started from a commercial tea seller’s shop.

He said: “Our men could not gain access into the market because of lack of access roads. That is why it took us hours battling it”.

He said three workers of the fire service sustained injuries while struggling to quench the fire and were rushed

to hospital and later discharged.

Security was beefed up around the market to avoid looting. Police, civil defence and

vigilante personnel were deployed.

The chairman of the Market Traders Association, Alhaji Uba Zubairu, said the fire destroyed foodstuff and essential commodities. Goods affected include mainly rice, sugar, salt, vegetable oil, soap, detergent and petroleum jelly.

He, however, said men of the fire service and other private companies were eventually able to put out the fire.

He said in spite of the enormity of the fire, no life was lost, adding that the cost of the damage was yet to be estimated.

The chairman also said the association would meet with the affected traders to ascertain what they actually lost.

The owner of one of the affected shops, Malam Ali Sani, who was still in shock, told newsmen that he lost all his belongings. Another shop owner, Malam Musa Isa, also said he lost all the essential commodities in his shop.

Another affected trader, Auwalu Yusuf, said he lost over N6m to the fire.

Abba Dogo, another trader, said there was no adequate fire-fighting equipment for the fire service. Also, Alhaji Salisu Bako Ahmad Kwalli said he lost over N2m to the fire, saying, “I don’t even know where to start now. I have lost everything to the fire”.

…Buhari laments Kano market inferno

By Isiaka Wakili

President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday expressed deep sadness over the destruction of valuable property in the fire outbreak at Singer Market in Kano.

The president described the incident as unfortunate, saying he shared in the pain and anguish of all hardworking Nigerians who lost their belongings in the inferno.

The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, in a statement, said Buhari expressed heartfelt condolences to victims of the incident.

Adesina quoted the president as assuring those who suffered losses that his administration would do all within its powers to support the efforts of the Kano State government to ameliorate their plight.

University of Maiduguri set for 40th anniversary

By Fidelis Mac-Leva & Chidimma Okeke

Plans have reached advanced stage for the 40th anniversary of the University of Maiduguri, the Vice Chancellor, Professor Ibrahim Abubakar Njodi said in Abuja yesterday.

Professor Njodi who led principal officers of the university to Media Trust’s corporate head office said the anniversary would be marked with a combined 22nd convocation ceremony to celebrate the feats so far recorded by the institution.

He said the grand celebration is slated for April 11 to 16.

“Having attained 40 years of existence as an institution, we felt we had done enough to tell the world”, he said, adding that in spite of the insurgency that had plagued the North-east, especially Borno State, the university had never closed for even a day.

“The alumni of Unimaid are waxing stronger in various capacities. Currently, the university has two serving ministers- the Minister of Transportation Rotimi Ameachi, Minister of Education Mallam Adamu Adamu, the Chief of Army Staff Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai and Chief of Air Staff Air Marshal Abubakar”, he said.

He said three the governors of Borno, Niger, Abia States are also products of the university, as well as seven Senior Advocates of Nigeria, seven first class traditional rulers and many members of the National Assembly.

“I can tell you with all emphasis that University of Maiduguri can boast of 250 professors, within the period of 40 years we have been able to produce these individuals to the Nigerian society”, he added.

Also an alumnus of the institution, Prof. Njodi said his vision for the university was to push it into world class status to compete at the global level.

“The University of Maiduguri in 2013 ranked 38th among the best 100 universities in Nigeria and as of 2015, it ranked 9th”, he said.

MNJTF commander visits Borno

From Ibrahim Sawab, Maiduguri

Commander of the Multi-National Joint Task Force (MNJTF), Maj.-Gen. Lamidi Adeosun, yesterday visited Borno State as part of his assessment tour of countries directly affected by the Boko Haram insurgency.

Adeosun, who took over last month as the commander at the headquarters of the MNJTF in N’Djamina-Chad, told newsmen in Maiduguri that he was in Nigeria, particularly Borno State, to assess the country’s sector and coordinate the operation.

“In the same way, I have gone to sector one in Cameroon, and I’ve interacted with them and stayed with them to feel and know their problems, and we are working on how to solve those issues.

“It is important to do the same to all the three sectors and a sub-sector. Sector one in Cameroon, sector two at Baga-Sola (Chad), sector three in Baga-Nigeria, and sub-sector three in Diffa-Niger. It’s part of the operational visits to know exactly what is on ground in terms of personnel, equipment and cooperation so that all these can be put together for a way forward to increase the tempo of the operation,” he said.

Dead female passenger was going for medical treatment abroad

From Abdullateef Aliyu, Lagos

The female passenger who was found dead in a toilet at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport (MMIA) Lagos on Wednesday was travelling out of the country for medical treatment, Daily Trust gathered yesterday.

Our correspondent learnt that the deceased was travelling to India and not Dubai as earlier reported, to seek treatment for an undisclosed ailment.

Airport Police Command spokesman, ASP Alabi Joseph, confirmed the incident yesterday. An autopsy is being arranged to determine the actual cause of her death before releasing the body to the family.

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