A market located in D-line axis of Port Harcourt was gutted by fire on Thursday night, leaving several goods worth millions of naira destroyed.
Concise News gathered that men of the fire service allegedly refused to respond to distress calls due to the Nationwide strike.
According to an eyewitness, the fire started at about 7.30 pm.
The eyewitness said that traders and property owners contacted the Rivers fire service and were allegedly told bluntly that they were observing the nationwide strike.
“This is wicked, all the calls we made to fire service were not responded to. Some people even drove to their office at Aba road yet they refused to come. They later arrived when every of our goods and properties were burnt. Is this fair. Volunteers got tired as they could not put out the fire,” he said.
However, the Director of Rivers State fire service, John Chuckwumati, said they responded immediately they received the distress calls but on arrival at the scene, angry traders who felt that they came late prevented them from putting out the fire, claiming that they came when the market was already burnt down.
Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike, who paid a visit to the burnt market, expressed sadness over the inferno at the Fruit and Vegetable Market. He promised that the State Government would come to the aid of the affected traders.
He said, “Government will do what it is supposed to do to ensure that the traders continued to earn a living. It is unfortunate that this has happened.
“We will look at the immediate and remote causes and we shall also come to the aid of those who are affected by the inferno. Let me assure you that we will do what we can to resolve it.”