By Francis Sardauna
The federal government Tuesday commiserated with the Katsina State Government and traders over the fire incident that destroyed hundreds of shops and stalls at the Katsina Central Market and vowed to assist the affected traders.
The Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami, who led a delegation to the state, told Governor Aminu Bello Massri at the Government House that President Muhammadu Buhari was deeply concerned about the devastating effects of the inferno.
Malami was accompanied by the Minister of Interior, Ra’uf Aregbesola; Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Farouq; Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika; Minister of Police Affairs, Maigari Dingyadi; and presidential spokesman, Garba Shehu, among others.
A fire outbreak had on Monday morning gutted the famous Katsina Central Market where it ravaged hundreds of shops and stalls.
Malami explained that President Buhari sent the high powered delegation to commiserate with the victims and state government over the tragic incident, which he termed a huge loss to the state and the nation at large.
He added that the federal government would work with the Katsina State Government to ascertain what could be done in terms of making necessary provisions or support for the victims of the inferno which almost ravaged the entire market.
The minister also noted that the federal government would work out strategies to support existing facilities in the market in order to avert a recurrence of the unfortunate incidence.
He said: “President Muhammadu Buhari is identifying with the government of Katsina State and looking at the possibility of working together with particular regard to see what can be done in terms of making necessary provisions as it relate with the people that were unfortunately afflicted by this incident.
“Also, working out strategies jointly and collectively as to what needs to be done in terms of supporting the existing facilities in the market. With that in mind, the minister of humanitarian affairs is also part of the delegation and the intention is for her to have a first-hand assessment of the level of damage, engage with the government of Katsina State for the purpose of providing the lasting solutions and indeed palliatives.”
Responding, Governor Aminu Bello Masari said the state government will inaugurate an administrative committee to find out the root causes, level of devastation, those affected and also to see how government can bring improvement to the market in order to forestall future occurrence.
He added: “Certainly, for us in Katsina State, we have never witnessed the magnitude of disaster in terms of fire outbreak like this one. We cannot precisely say how many shops and people were involved and the properties that I believed are worth billions.
“But we are setting up an administrative committee to find out the root causes, level of devastation, those affected and also to see how we can bring improvement to the market in order to forestall similar occurrence.
“We will be liaising with the minister of humanitarian affairs for her to understand the magnitude of what was lost and areas that will require attention and interventions, especially to the traders who massively lost their properties.”