CROSS RIVER, Nigeria – Over ten shops were completely razed down by fire in Ogoja Local Government Area of Cross River State.
The incident occurred at Ogbojo-Akakpa in Ogoja along Federal Science College, Ogoja on Saturday in which ten shops were completely burnt down while the people watched helplessly.
Although, the cause of the fire was yet to be ascertained, it only took the efforts of the people in the absence of the Fire Service, to used mai ruwa (water carriage) to restrain the fire from consuming other shops and houses.
A witness who gave his name as Raymond Obi said, “The people watched helplessly as fire burnt down their building harbouring the shops.
“Although, nobody knew what caused the fire that escalated wildly, many people tried to pick up some few things as no life was lost,” he said.
He recalled that several incidences of fire outbreak have occurred in Ogoja – leading to loss of properties worth several millions of Naira in recent time, Obi said but question the whereabouts of the fire service people in the area.
One of the shop owners, a radio/television technician, who declined to mention his name recounted the incident thus, “I went across to buy some food to eat and when I came back I saw people gathering in front of my shop.
“I saw the fire burning everywhere. I couldn’t pick even a needle aside from the TV sets that I left outside,” he lamented.
When OgeneAfrican contacted the Public Relations Officer of Cross River State Fire Service, Comrade Cletus Makers for come, he said he was out of town.
“I am currently not in town. I am in Akure for an official assignment. But, I’ll direct you to the person in charge of Ogoja station, he’ll know better”, Makers said.
Consequently, when we tried to reach out to the Fire Service man in charge of Ogoja Station, Comrade Solomon Atambi, as directed by the PRO our efforts proved abortive as his phone number was not connecting.