Parts of Shehu Shagari Modern Market in Sokoto, popularly called New Market, was on Tuesday destroyed by early morning fire.
The inferno started around 6 a.m and continued to ravage shops at the market till midday, as some yet to be affected traders trooped to evacuate their goods before the raging fire extends to their shops.
The combined team of Sokoto State Fire Service, Federal Fire Service, National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) were battling to put out the fire as at midday on Tuesday.
Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Nigerian Security and Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC) and men of the Nigerian Police were also on hand to maintain safety and security.
Sokoto State Deputy Governor, Alhaji Manniru Dan’iya, who was at the scene, sympathised with the victims and assured them more effort would be exerted into putting out the fire.
Dan’iya said the source of the incident and level of damage could not be ascertained at present and urged people to remain calm as the efforts continue.
It was however, observed that attachment shops and other illegal structures erected at the market roads prevented fire engines good access to affected shops in the market.
Bulldozers were deployed to remove the temporary and illegal structures in order to give more access for fire engines and officials to reach the affected areas.
A trader, Muhammad Bawa, said he lost goods worth N2 million as he could not remove anything from his shop.
At the scene of the incident, scores of sympathisers and relatives to the traders besieged the market to offer help, even as police apprehended some looters who were caught stealing from the shops.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]