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Sanwo-Olu orders probe of Lagos market fire as Buhari condoles with victims

Sanwo-Olu orders probe of Lagos market fire as Buhari condoles with victims
Babajide Sanwo-Olu, Lagos governor, has asked the commissioner of police to probe the fire at Akere auto parts market in the Olodi Apapa area of the state.

The inferno, which raged from Tuesday midnight to Wednesday morning, destroyed goods and properties worth millions.

A 65-year-old man was said to have died in the incident which is suspected to be the handiwork of arsonists.

Speaking during a visit to the market on Wednesday, the Lagos governor said the state government would get to the bottom of the matter.

Sanwo-Olu said: “I commiserate with the family of 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 terms, 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 emergency response team would remain at the site until the area is cleared of the wreckage, adding that the state will help to rebuild the market.

Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari has expressed his “deepest sympathies” with the traders and their families.

“The president is equally concerned that a similar fire incident occurred at the popular Balogun market a few weeks ago, calling on relevant authorities to take precautions to stem the tide,” Garba Shehu, presidential spokesperson, quoted Buhari as saying.

The president commended the Lagos State Fire Service for salvaging a nearby filling station with a 33,000 litres PMS tanker and other properties in the area.

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