Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu has asked Idowu Owohunwa, the city’s police commissioner, to conduct a thorough investigation into the Akere fire incident and identify those responsible.
According to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), Sanwo-Olu visited the scene of the midnight fire at the Akere Auto Spare Part Market in Olodi Apapa, Ajeromi Ifelodun Local Government Area, of the state, which destroyed goods and property worth millions of naira.
When the Governor met with the victims of the fire, he expressed his sorrow and promised to help the traders make up for their loss.
According to NAN, the incident, which impacted over 90 spare part stores, resulted in the death of a taxi driver.
Some unknown persons were said to have allegedly shot sporadically towards the market, killing one person and setting the market on fire.
Sanwo-Olu condemned the incendiary action, describing it as ”unfortunate”, and therefore, directed the Commissioner of Police to ensure a diligent investigation to unravel the perpetrators.
The governor, in company of the council chairman, Mr Fatai Ayoola, and the market leader, Mr Izuchukwu Uba, inspected the razed market, while officials of the Lagos State Emergency Management Authority (LASEMA) cleared the site of charred materials to salvage unaffected goods.
A woman identified as the deceased’s wife, pleaded with the governor to ensure thorough investigation into the incident and made a request for the release of her husband’s body for Muslim burial.
Sanwo-Olu condoled with the deceased’s family and promised assistance toward the burial of the deceased.
He assured the traders that the state government would get to the bottom of the matter, just as he ordered that security be tightened around major markets to forestall similar attacks.
”I commiserate with the family of the taxi driver who was somewhere close to the market premises but lost his life in the incident.
”I am also here to share my sympathy with all shop owners who lost means of livelihood in this fire incident. But we don’t want to pass judgment ahead of investigation.
”In strong term, I am directing the Commissioner of Police to immediately launch a full investigation into the cause of this incident.
”Given the issues we are hearing around, I am also directing the commissioner to tighten security around markets. All vulnerable markets must be protected.
”People must not jump into conclusions as to the motives behind it, because this is an incident that affects everyone around this neighbourhood in one form or the other.
”We have received the list of all shop owners affected and we will vet the list for compensation to help the victims back on their feet,” Sanwo-Olu said.
The Governor said the state emergency response team would remain at the site until the area is cleared of rubbles.
According to him, the state government will collaborate and work with the local council authorities to rebuild the market and return the traders back.
”We will help to rebuild the market within a short term and we will personally ensure safety measures are put in place.
”Our visit is to further reassure all residents of the state that, as long as we are in government, we will continue to promote peaceful coexistence among all communities.
“I am here to demonstrate that commitment and to personally support the rebuilding efforts,” he added. (NAN)