Property estimated at hundreds of millions of naira have been destroyed by fire at the popular Kara market in Sokoto.
Some of the items sold at the market included grains, onions, agricultural inputs, wheat offal, kola nuts, generators and spare parts, among others.
The fire which started at about midnight on Tuesday, was said to have been ignited by an electrical spark at a shop opposite the Kofar-Kade gate.
There was, however, no loss of life or injury in the inferno.
Our correspondent gathered that some of the traders were able to salvage some of their wares, while others were seen guarding their property against thieves.
Some traders told journalists that the spark was caused by the restoration of power supply. “There was no light at the market since 6p.m. on Tuesday. It was restored at about midnight.
“That was believed to be the genesis of the unfortunate fire incident’’, Musa Danhajiya, a victim said.
Another victim, Yusuf Labbo, said that “we have lost property worth hundreds of millions of naira and cash. The fire was put off by some good Samaritans and the victims, and we are still guarding our salvaged items.’’
The Secretary of the Kola Nuts Sellers Association in Sokoto state, Shina Agboola, said that the fire had caused tremendous damage at the market.
Agboola said that “my association has over 108 members at the affected market and they had suffered huge losses. We are therefore appealing to the government to come to the aid of the victims’’, he added.
The Director-General, Sokoto State Fire Service, Harande Chedi, confirmed the incident, saying no life was lost.
Chedi, however, said the service would investigate the allegation of restoration of electricity and power surge to ascertain the cause of the inferno.
On his part, the Director-General of the state Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), Hassan Maccido, said that the State Government would set up a committee to unravel the immediate and remote causes of the fire.
“The state government will also come to the aid of the victims, but the victims should regard the incident as an act of God,” he said.