A week after the fire incident at Araromi Auto Spare Parts Market, at Agodi-Gate, Ibadan, traders have started erecting their tents while sympathisers are still trooping to console the victims of the inferno.
On Friday April 2, 2021, about 1,000 traders at the Auto Spare Parts Market were thrown into monumental frief as a result of the fire incident which razed almost 1,115 shops in the market.
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Our correspondent who visited the market reports that affected trader were seen hanging around the market, trying to erect structures and carrying out any little business they could transact with what they have left.
Daily Trust reports that customers, especially motor mechanics and engineers who came in search of vehicles parts were stranded without getting their demands.
Aside about 1,115 shops which were destroyed, about 30 cars belonging to customers were also reportedly burnt in the market.
Our correspondent learnt that the most affected areas were those selling vehicle engines, tyres, and other smaller vehicle spare parts.
One of the victims who spoke with Daily Trust, Alhaji Mudashiru Obisesan, said he lost properties worth N5m to the inferno.
“Since I came to this market in 1980, we have never experienced this kind of inferno. I just came back from Lagos on Thursday and the fire razed the two shops on Friday.
“I have many children to cater for. I am doomed with this incident my brother. I don’t have a single stock as we speak. My children and wife will suffer this. I don’t know where to start from again,” he said.
Another victim, Mr. Olayode Akeem Odedele, who said he inherited the business from his father, noted that the only way forward for the victims was for government to make soft loans available for them.
He said some of the victims of the inferno are walking corpses but government can only resurrect them by supporting them financially.
“I inherited this business from my father. Since I got here in 1980, I’ve never seen this kind of thing before. Some of these people you see walking about are simly putting up a strong face. A lot of them are dead in real life.
“I wish the government can do something reasonable about this incident. We need more than words of consolation; we urgently need financial support. My home has been suffering since the incident happened because I invested the whole cash with me in the business.
“Some of my customers from Osun State have called me to refund their money. If this continues for a while, many of our people may not survive the calamity. Well meaning Nigerians should assist us. Government and Nigerians abroad should come to our aid.”
A tyre dealer, Olalekan Mathew Ogundepo, told Daily Trust that he was confused, destabilised and heart broken over the development.
Ogundepo, who said he has three children in higher institutions, noted that the reality on ground has affected his sense of reasoning.
“When they called me around 1am on Saturday, I never knew it was a serious fire incident. I taught it affected a few shops as we normally have it. But when I got here around 4am, I wept.
A dealer on vehicle engines, Olalekan Salami, described the inferno as an act of God, saying the solution can only come from God.
He urged Governor Seyi Makinde to hasten his plans to relocate the market.
“I cannot quantify what I lost to the inferno. My store was razed with a little money we made on Thursday. I am not happy as I speak,” he said.