A multi-million naira power plant located in Oke Agbe, in the Akoko South-West Local Government Area of Ondo State, has been gutted by fire.
The cause of the inferno remains unknown, but it was learnt that the plant went up in flames on Monday and the fire was still burning as of the time of filing this report on Tuesday.
The plant was said to have been established by the Federal Government some years ago to supply electricity to the Akoko area of Ondo State and some parts of Ekiti State, but it was gathered that it had been abandoned.
An eyewitness said the fire destroyed the entire power plant and little could be done to extinguish it due to the absence of men of the Ondo State Fire Service in the area.
“We just saw the place burning suddenly and we didn’t know what caused it; firefighters were not on the ground to extinguish the fire, because they are not in this local government,” the eyewitness stated.
Another source said the fire might have resulted from bush burning in the area.
When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer in the state, CSP Femi Joseph, confirmed the incident and said investigation had commenced into it.
“We have yet to determine the cause of the fire, but we have commenced investigation,” he stated.
Similarly, an early morning inferno destroyed over 100 shops at the Sabo Market in Sagamu, Ogun State.
The fire destroyed goods and valuables worth several millions of naira.
It was learnt that the inferno started around 1am on Tuesday from the clothes section before spreading to other sections of the market.
The fire is believed to have resulted from surge when power supply was restored to the area by the Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company around 1am.
Governor Dapo Abiodun and the Akarigbo of Remoland, Oba Adewale Ajayi, visited the scene of the inferno.
One of the shop owners and Chairman of the Table Water and Beverages Producers Association of Nigeria, Remo zone, Adetola Soyemi, told PUNCH Metro that over 100 shops were consumed by the raging inferno.
“There is a fire outbreak and as I speak, the governor and the Akarigbo are here,” he told our correspondent.
When asked the number of shops affected, Soyemi stated, “There are many shops that are affected. There are over 100 shops affected.”
On the cause of the inferno, he said it began shortly after the IBEDC restored power supply to the area around 1am.
“It was the power the firm restored that caused a spark around 1am, and if not for the quick intervention of the men of the state fire service, it would have spread to all the sections of the market,” he added.
On the affected areas in the market, Soyemi said, “clothes, yam flour, grains, herbs, kolanut, padlocks and building materials’ sections were affected.”
Abiodun assured the traders of quick intervention by the government to rebuild the market.
“By the grace of God, we will rebuild this market and put measures in place to ensure that incidents like this do not happen again. We will also look at how to ensure the efficiency of our fire service,” he said.
The governor said the State Emergency Management Agency would liaise with the market leaders on the provision of relief materials for the affected traders, adding that the design of the market would be assessed to ensure accessibility of firefighting equipment in cases of fire incidents.
“We are going to take account and enumerate all those who have been affected by this fire and immediately reach out to them so that we can bring some succour to them; we will try and see how we can give them some relief, because a lot has been lost to the fire,” Abiodun stated.
Oba Ajayi urged the affected traders to be patient with the state government in its quest to rebuild the market and give them relief materials.