The Sokoto Central Market was on Tuesday gutted by fire which razed down many shops and destroyed goods worth millions of naira.
Governor Aminu Tambuwal called the damage to the states “most valuable asset” sad.
This is not the first time the market has been engulfed by fire. In 2006, it was said to have been completely destroyed by fire before it was rebuilt by Governor Aliyu Magatakarda Wamakko with additional 1,000 shops.
The construction of the market was started by one of the military governors of Sokoto, Umaru Muhammed about 45 years ago and it was completed during the time of Governor Shehu Kangiwa.
Daily Trust gathered that late President Shehu Shagari supervised the construction as the then chairman, Sokoto Urban Development Agency and the land which the market was built on was said to be donated Sultan Abubakar III.
The market was meant to serve the people of old Sokoto state, comprising the present day Kebbi, Zamfara, Sokoto, Niger states and Kwara state.
It was gathered that people from Kebbi, Zamfara states and the neighbouring Niger Republic still patronize the market where goods various goods such as wrappers, brocades, jewelries, cosmetics, leather works, electronics, plastic items, shoes, items for interior decoration, agro-allied products among others.
There was also part for grain sellers, motorcycles and bicycle dealers in the market.
According to the Director General of the market, Maikudi Dogon Daji, there are 14,000 shops in the markets and thousands of people patronize the market every day.
The market was so strategic as it was located close to the two major motor parks in the state, thus easing movement for traders and buyers.
The market community comprising people from different ethnic and religious backgrounds who were transacting their businesses peacefully.
The cause of Tuesday’s inferno was still unknown but a firefighter who spoke to Daily Trust on condition of anonymity attributed it to the generating set.