16th December, 2010
Tragedy struck in Zaki Biam, Benue State when properties worth several millions ofÂ naira stored in several shops in the area were destroyed in a midnight inferno.
Though no life was lost, owners of the affected shops claimed thatÂ all their waresÂ have been destroyedÂ in the fire outbreak.
One of the victims, Jacob Opum, an Igbo trader who owned the biggest supermarket andÂ other shops in the area said the fire started in the midnight.
â€œWe did not know until about 3am but it must have started in the midnight. When weÂ got there, it was late. The fire had become too dangerous for us. tI lost everythingÂ to the fire.â€
The business man told P.M.NEWS that the fire consumed everything because there wasÂ no fire service station in the town, adding that the youths in the area battledÂ effortlessly to bring the fire under control.
Others who also lost their wares in the inferno includeÂ James Eke, a provisionÂ sellerÂ and Innocent Ogbu who sells clothing materials.
The duo disclosed they had stocked up their shops forÂ the yuletide season.
Mr Eke called on well meaning Nigerians and the state government to come to theÂ rescue of the traders.
He also appealed to the state government to set up a fire service office in the areaÂ because it is one of the commercial centres of the state
At the time of filing this report, the cause of the inferno was still unknown, butÂ an eyewitness said it may not be unconnected to the high voltage of electricityÂ supplyÂ in the area lately
â€”Ubong George /Makurdi