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Lagos Market Fire Victim Laments, Says Sanwo-Olu’s Response Insensitive

A victim of the fire recently recorded in Dosunmu Market in Lagos State has berated the state governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, for allegedly being insensitive to the plight of traders who lost their goods to the fire.

No fewer than 14 buildings were gutted by fire in the market situated on the Lagos Island area of the state.

The Lagos Territorial Coordinator of the National Emergency Management Authority (NEMA), Ibrahim Farinloye, who confirmed the incident in a telephone conversation, said four buildings out of the 14 collapsed.

Reacting to the development, one of the victims, Idayat Allison, who spoke with News Central in a town hall meeting involving stakeholders of the market said Sanwo-Olu, in an address on the incident, spoke like someone without feelings.

She said that the governor’s threat of demolishing buildings with no papers was unnecessary and could have been completely avoided.

She said, “I was in London when people called me that my shop was on fire. I was shocked because I had only planned to open my shop after Eid-el-Fitr break only to come to my shop to see that it had burnt to ashes. I used a whole building in Number 7 Dosunmu Street and I just offloaded two 40-foot containers with what I had before in my store. Everything was lost in the fire incident.

“I was told that the cause of the fire was from a generator set repairer who did not put off the generating set before pouring petrol inside leading to the fire outbreak. And it got worse because he could not call for help due to panic.

“The Federal and Lagos State Governments need to help us. We have lost trillions to the inferno. I lost two of my shops. My sister, Morufat Allison, lost three and her husband one. We are now penniless.”

Speaking on whether the Lagos State Government has communicated with them on how they are willing to help, Allison declared that Sanwo-Olu only came to talk without action.

She noted that the governor was emotionless in his speech when he said he was going to demolish the building without papers.

“Sanwo-Olu came and just talked, talked, and talked. There were no feelings. There was no pity. They don’t act like they have blood in their veins.

“He said that he was going to demolish all the buildings in the area without papers. They don’t act like they have feelings. Their bulldozers started destroying things more for us, leading to scraps and unburnt goods from the site being stolen.”

Another victim begged that their names be compiled for government compensation as they were left with nothing after the inferno.

“The money that would be sent to us as help should not be given to our landlords but to shop owners. We are writing names every day,” she said.

In her own remark, Toyin Dosunmu, a resident and landlord in the market who also spoke as a victim said she called for immediate help when the fire broke out as kegs of fuel from the building were being thrown down by boys who came to their rescue.

She, nonetheless, begged the government to intervene and restore the market to what it used to be because she had no one to run to at age 70.

Meanwhile, efforts to reach the governor’s Special Adviser, Media and Publicity, Gboyega Akosile, as of press time proved abortive as calls put to his phone were unanswered and the text messages sent to him were also not replied to.

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