By Babajide Okeowo
Gov. Aminu Tambuwal constituted a 12-member committee on Tuesday to ascertain the loss suffered by shop owners in the early morning inferno at the Shehu Shagari Modern Market, Sokoto.
Also known as New Market, part of the facility was razed at about 6 a.m. as the fire continued to ravage shops, making those not yet affected to rush to evacuate their goods.
Tambuwal, who visited the scene, sympathised with the victims and assured of more efforts to bring the situation under control.
“We have been here doing everything possible to bring the inferno ravaging our most valuable asset under control.
“It is a very sad development. We appeal to the general public, particularly shop owners and those having investments in the market to remain calm as government is doing everything humanly possible to bring the fire under control.
“We must not do anything that will give opportunity to hoodlums to go into the market to take advantage of the situation to loot.
“I am appealing that we should continue to pray as we have marshalled the services of fire fighters and equipment to control the situation,’’ he said.
The 12-member committee is led by the Deputy Governor, Alhaji Munir Dan’iya, with the Commissioners for lands and Housing and that of Commerce as members.
Other members include the Chairman, Sokoto State House of Assembly Committee on Commerce, Board Chairman of Sokoto Central Market and Director-General of the state’s Fire Service.
Meanwhile, the Commissioner of Police in the state, Mr. Ibrahim Kaoje, gave assurance that adequate security would be provided for property in the market.
Kaoje said that the situation was under control and that the Command had deployed police personnel within the metropolis to monitor the security situation.