By William Treasure, Benin
It was a day of lamentation and loss for many traders Wednesday at the PZ Market in Benin, the Edo state capital as an early morning fire razed over 30 shops at the market.
The market located at Evboriaria in Ikpoba-Okha local government area of the state went up in flames at about the midnight hours.
It was learnt that the fire was caused by an electric power surge after power was restored to the area deep into the night.
Goods and properties worth several millions of naira including cash left in the shops by the traders were consumed by the inferno.
A victim of the ugly incident who gave her name as Blessing Justina, the owner of a beauty shop in the market told newsmen that she was informed about the fire by a relative but could not remove anything from her shop.
Speaking on the incident, chairman of Ikpoba-Okha local government area, Dr. Eric Osayande, who visited the scene to ascertain the actual cause of the fire directed the Councillor, Ward 6, Hon. Obosa Jolly Ogbeide, to embark on a needs assessment exercise of the burnt market.
Dr. Osayande has also directed the Head of Local Government Administration (HOLGA), Barr. Kingsley Iyamu and Director, Administrative and General Services (DAGS), Mr. Frank Osa-Idahosa to prepare a proposal for approval to rebuild the market.