Artworks Worth N400m Destroyed In Abuja Fire

Several artworks believed to be worth about N400 million were destroyed in the fire at the Abuja Arts and Craft Village Friday night.

Mr Kanayo Chukwumezie, president of the African Arts and Cultural Heritage Association (AACHA) said “We have not ascertained the cause of the fire. When the fire started and the first two shops were burning, our members wanted to rush in to stop the fire, but the security at the gate by National Council for Art and Culture (NCAC) prevented them.

“Before the Fire Service arrived, almost all the shops were burnt: they were only able to extinguish the smoke. Artworks and other products for Christmas sales worth over N400 million were burnt to ashes.

“We use to stay in the village over night, but when they told us to stop staying there and promised to provide security and anti-fire measures, we stopped staying overnight.

“If we were allowed to be staying overnight, this fire accident would have been controlled by those around.

“We appeal to the NCAC to come to the aid of those that lost their means of livelihood in the inferno.”

The fire which is believed to have started between 8:00pm and 9:00pm razed down shops quickly partly because the roofs were made of thatch, but some of the victims insist the incident could have been curtailed if shop owners were still allowed to sleep overnight in their shops.

UPDATE: OPC Members Attack Osun Special Adviser On Dangote Quarry Site

There was pandemonium on Thursday morning as suspected members of the Oodua Peoples Congress OPC exchanged gunfire with policemen attached to the team of the State Government of Osun at the Dangote Quarry Site in Ajebamidele Area in Ayedaade Local Government Area of the state.

OSUN DEFENDER gathered that the Special Adviser to Governor Rauf Aregbesola on Tax Matters, Barr Gbenga Akano, officials of the state Internal Revenue Service, OIRS, journalists and policemen were offensively turned back from sealing the site reportedly owing the state N1.5bn tax returns.

The Quarry Site is reportedly owned by business mogul, Alhaji Aliko Dangote.

The State Government of Osun maintained that the company has evaded tax since it started operations on the land several years ago.

Barr Akano told newsmen that the action was taken because the company which owes the government about N1.5 billion tax failed to either acknowledge or perform its obligations.

He said the team had visited the site several times but were prevented by about 30 suspected OPC members.

The Special Adviser on Tax Matters to Governor Aregbesola alleged that the private security guards shot at the OIRS officials, seizing their phones and other gadgets coupled with harassment.

As at the time of filing in this report, the State Government of Osun says it has sealed up the site with a huge presence of security operatives mobilized to the site.

Fire Guts Popular Club In Osun

Popular club in Osogbo, Club Medusa, has, Wednesday gone in flames.

The fire which started around 10am in the morning gulped the upper end of the club finding its way into the roof of the building.

The club is located beside the Old Terminus Hotel, Ajegunle area in Osogbo.

As of the time of filing in this report, efforts are on to quench the fire as officials of the State Fire Service led by Asp Akilapa Busayo are on hand to save the situation.

Our correspondent who was at the scene reports that the fire destroyed properties worth millions of naira in the club.

According to Asp Busayo, the inferno started from a spark which erupted when equipment in the club reacted to the high voltage of electricity restored to the area by the Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company IBEDC.

He urged residents of the state to ensure that all electrical appliances are switched off whenever there is power outage to avoid inferno if a high voltage of Electricity is supplied.

FAAN Fire Spares Air Operations

The headquarters of Federal Airport Authority (FAAN), Lagos is on fire.

There are no recorded human causalities from the fire which was reportedly caused by electrical faults, some documents and equipment are said to have been destroyed.

An official of National Union of Air Transport Employees, NUATE, identified as Frank, said the Audit unit of FAAN was heavily affected by the fire. Other sources claim that the communications and engineering unit were also affected, but Henrietta Yakubu, Acting General Manager, Corporate Affairs, FAAN, said the incident did nit affect air operations.

She said “The incident is being investigated right now to find out the cause of the outbreak,” she said in a statement Tuesday Morning.
“The fire department, in collaboration with the Lagos State Fire Department and other security agencies however responded swiftly by curtailing the spread of the fire, as normalcy is being restored already”.

Gov. Aregbesola Helps Avert Fire Tragedy In Osogbo

Tragedy was yesterday averted at Sekona, Osogbo Road when Governor of the State of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola reached out to the state’s revamped fire service to put out a fire that had engulfed the area.

Acting on his promise not to leave behind any unfinished project in the state, the Governor was on an evening tour of several projects under construction in the state, when he stumbled on the wild fire that threatened a nearby community.

Aregbesola Fights Wild Fire in Sekona

He swiftly put a call through to the fire service team who moved into action to put out the fire and restore calm to the community. In images seen by our reporter, the governor and men in his entourage can be seen putting out the fire and help members of the community in their own little way.

Aregbesola Fights Wild Fire in Sekona1

Recall that the Aregbesola-led administration has invested in rebuilding and equipping emergency response services in the state, including the fire service, ambulance unit and other related units.

The governor who showed empathy with the people, promised his administration will continue to secure lives and properties across the state.

Victims of Ondo Market Fire Beg Mimiko for Help

A midnight fire which started around 2:00am has razed down stalls at the Odopetu Market in Akure, the Ondo State capita, destroying foodstuff and other goods estimated at millions of naira. There were no human casualties.

Some of the affected traders at the burnt market disclosed that they dealt in various

Traders present at the site said their goods, mostly  grains, beans, bags of rice, tubers of yam, household equipment and baby clothes have turned into ashes due to the fire.  According to them, more than fifty traders have been displaced by the fire.

A representative of the Oba of Akure had asked affected traders to take stock of the extent of damage in the market and forward their estimates to the relevant institutions of government. 

The fire had already destroyed all the goods before fire service agents arrived at the scene, and five hours after the fore started, they were still trying to put it out.

There were also reports of thieves and hoodlums who looted goods before the arrival of emergency services, under the guise of helping salvage them.

“We are particularly begging Governor Olusegun Mimiko to assist us to cushion the effects of this disaster,” one of the traders said. Another added, “We depend solely on this business, and this is where we see money to cater for our children in school,” another trader said.

The immediate cause of the fire was not ascertained, but two traders said they suspected the fire started from careless handling of cigarette butts.

Osun Tasks Companies On Management Of Fire Outbreaks

The Government of Osun on Tuesday charged multinational organisations in the state on the need to take precautionary measures against fire outbreak in the state.

Mr Mudasiru Toogun, Chairman, Special Committee on Fire Safety in the state, gave this charge during his sensitisation tour to multinational organisations in the state.

He advised owners of establishments in the state to put all necessary fire equipment in place as well as allowing exit points in case of fire outbreaks.

He assured residents in the state that the state administration will not relent in its efforts at protecting lives and property of every citizen in the state.

The heads of the organisations visited lauded the efforts and initiatives of the state government, and promised to comply and put in place fire safety precaution to safeguard against fire outbreaks.

Organisations visited by the fire safety committee included DAAR Communication Plc, AIRTEL and Etisalat offices, all in Osogbo, the state capital. (NAN)

@SpeakerDogara’s True Position On Kano Market Fire

The attention of the office of the Hon. Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon Yakubu Dogara, has been drawn to a statement purportedly issued from his office on the Kano market fire disaster on Saturday, March 26, 2016.

The statement quoted the Speaker as saying that it is only when people are godly that such incidents will cease to occur, thereby implying that the fire outbreak served as punishment for sins allegedly committed by businessmen and women in Sabon Gari market, Kano.

We wish to make it categorically clear that the said statement does not in any way reflect or represent the opinion and official position of Mr. Speaker.

As a responsible and responsive leader, the Rt. Hon. Speaker could never have blamed the incident on the same people who lost their properties worth millions of Naira in the inferno.

It would be recalled that Mr. Speaker sent a powerful and strong delegation of leaders and members of the House of Representatives to condole with the people and government of Kano State when a similar incident occurred last month.

We strongly believe that what the people need at this moment of their loss is empathy and not chastisement.

We apologise to all those who feel offended by the statement issued by one of the aides in the office without clearance from either Mr. Speaker or his senior aides.

Rt. Hon. Yakubu Dogara hereby uses this medium to express his empathy over the recurrent incident.

The Speaker also called for investigation by relevant authorities to unravel the cause (s) of the incessant fire disasters in Sabon Gari market, and condoled with those who lost their properties in a similar incident in Kebbi State.

Fire Guts Sabon Gari Market In Kano Again

A mid-night fire has for the second time gutted the popular Sabon Gari market in Kano, destroying property worth millions of Naira.

Eye witness said in Kano on Saturday that the fire which started around 12:30am, destroyed several shops in the market.

According to the witness, the fire had also razed the footwear section of the market.

As at the time of filing this report, men of the state Fire Service were still battling to control the inferno.

When contacted, the Director of the state Fire Service, Alhaji Mustapha Rulwan confirmed the incident.

He said the fire started at about 1am and had destroyed several shops in the market.

According to him, the fire started at the footwear section of the market.

“Our men are still trying to put out the fire as I am talking to you now we are in the market”, he said.

This is the second time in five months that the Sabon Gari market was gutted by fire.

Fire Guts Stanbic IBTC Bank In Lagos

A building housing Stanbic IBTC Bank at Abesan Gate, Ipaja, Lagos, caught fire on Thursday with properties worth millions of naira lost in the inferno.

One of the Police officers attached to the building, who preferred anonymity, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) ‎that the fire started at about 3.30 p.m.

The officer said that the fire started from a tanker discharging diesel into the bank’s generator plant.

‎According to the Police officer, the hose was already attached from the tanker to the generator and in the course of discharging the product, a loud sound was heard from the truck.

The Police officer said that consequently, the fire escalated.

The Police officer confirmed that no life was lost, saying that all the staff and workers in the building escaped.

NAN reports that the truck and several cars in the building were ‎gutted by the fire.

NAN also reports that as at the time of this report, fire fighters are still at the spot, trying to stop the fire.

The incident had also built up heavy traffic along the Abesan-Ipaja Road.