Governor Babagana Umara Zulum has announced N1 billion emergency relief for victims of Monday market fire in Maiduguri, Borno State.
The governor visited the market Sunday morning after fire gutted many shops.
He said the funds would provide urgent support to victims, pending assessment of the incident.
The governor’s spokesman, Malam Isa Gusau, in a statement, said Zulum had visited the scene of the incident and had mobilised armed forces to secure the area to prevent breakdown of law and order.
The statement reads, “We woke up today with a very sad and unfortunate fire disaster at the Maiduguri Monday Market. This is very unfortunate but we believe that this is decreed by Allah. Inna lillahi Wa inna ilayhi raajiun. I feel deeply pained by this incident and I know how painful it is for anyone to work hard over years to build his or her business but end up losing that investment in seconds.
“I really feel the pain of everyone affected by this incident. I commiserate with all of you. I kindly and most respectfully urge you to be calm and patient. I know how bad you feel and insha’Allah, the Borno State Government is already taking the following measures to ameliorate the situation.
“I have approved the release of N1 billion as emergency relief for us to quickly support victims of the disaster because we know that some of them may even have difficulty surviving the next few days. Many rely on daily businesses in order to cater for themselves.
“We are setting up an assessment committee that will comprise respectable individuals from our society including representatives of the victims, for us to speedily assess damages, and take a comprehensive list of those affected and their losses. I will also be holding meetings with leadership of the market and representatives of victims.
“I am going to see Mr President and seek presidential intervention on how to get support for victims.
“We will also reach out to other humanitarian establishments to seek help. Insha’Allah, we will be taking firm measures towards preventing recurrence of this fire disaster that has occurred in previous years.
“I would like to respectfully appeal to everyone for calmness. I know how you feel. I feel your pain and we will support you through whatever means we can, insha’Allah.
“In the meantime, I urge us not to politicize this unfortunate incident. I recognize that the incident is happening at a political time, but we all know the Monday market has unfortunately faced fire disaster in previous times and this is sad.
“We have to find ways of ensuring this unfortunate fire disaster does not happen again and we will work together to ensure this.”