26th April, 2012
Over 30 shops were lost to fire outbreak yesterday around 8 a.m. at Bola Ige International Market, Gbagi, Ibadan, capital of Oyo State, Southwest Nigeria.
The fire which lasted for about three hours destroyed wares worth millions of naira.
The fire outbreak, whose cause is yet to be ascertained, affected the sections where clothes, shoes, cosmetics and provisions are sold.
As at the time our correspondent visited the market, the shop owners were seen weeping, while sympathisers were trying to pacify them.
A trader whose shop was affected was heard praying for death to come and claim her life.
She said while crying: “I have just got those wares. Most of the wares were bought on credit. How will I raise the money to pay my creditor now?”
She was later led out of the market by some leaders of the market.
None of the shops opened today, as the market leaders have ordered that all shops should remain closed.
Another trader, whose shops were also burnt, told P.M.NEWS that she was not around when the incident happened.
She said that no one could trace where the fire started from.
However, she said that the fire could have been put out if the fire service in Gbagi arrived on time, adding that the fire continued to spread until the fire service from Challenge came to their rescue.
“The vehicle of the fire service in Gbagi was bad. They had to call their men in Challenge but they could not get here on time because of the road. The road to the market is very narrow. So they had to station their vehicle a short distance from the market to put out the fire,” said the woman.