Over forty shops worth millions of naira, was gutted by fire at the Ikom market in Cross River State.
The inferno, which started at about 2AM on Tuesday and was attributed to power upsurge from the public power supply, could not be contained in spite of frantic efforts by shop owners to put it out.
The state fire service station in Ikom, which was contacted for intervention, could not act due to complains of lack of facilities to combat the fire.
The director general of the state emergency management agency, John Inaku, who visited the scene of the incident, described the destruction as serious.
Mr. Inaku, who said he was there on a rapid assessment of the destruction, said efforts would be made by the state government to ameliorate the sufferings of the victims.
According to him, the burnt shops required total rehabilitation. He urged the victims to remain calm.
In a comment, the chairman of Ikom main market traders union, Caleb Agwu, called on government agencies, NGO’s and philanthropic individuals and organizations to help in cushioning the effect of the disaster.