The Akesan Central Market in Oyo town was razed by fire in the early hours of Sunday with several shops razed by the inferno allegedly caused by an electrical power surge due to sudden power supply around 1.45 a.m.
Several shops including Iyaloja’ s shop, old Bata and Grade C Customary Courts with goods and property worth millions of Naira were destroyed by the fire.
According to one of the shop owners, Mr Emmanuel Chike the fire was caused by a power surge from the Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company (IBEDC) to the market at about 1.45 a.m. on Sunday.
” I received a call by 2.00 a.m. by the time we reached the market many shops have been razed while some shop owners tried to salvage what is left of their market.
Another shop owner, Mrs Kafilat Yusuf said “I received a call to come to Akesan market around 2.30 a.m., though the Fire Service Station of Oyo State was a stone throw away they are unable to help the situation.
“Oyo town Fire Service Station was contacted when the fire started, they said there is no water
“Unfortunately, the Fire Service, which is less than 20 metres to the Market, could not mobilise to stop the raging fire, the Service said its equipment was not functioning,” said Yusuf.
The windscreen of one of two grounded truck of the fire service station was vandalised.
Generator, hose and other items of the fire station was set on fire by irate youth who protests against the fire station’s nonchalant attitude to the fire incident.
Confirming the inferno, the state Police Public Relation Officer (PPRO), Meanwhile, Mr Olugbenga Fadeyi(SP) denied that the Police fired any gunshot to disperse the crowd in the market.
“The Police were deployed immediately to the scene to prevent hoodlums from capitalising on the situation to loot shops and properties in the area,” Fadeyi said.
He said concerted efforts are being made to prevent the breakdown of law and order in the state capital.
By our correspondent