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Hoodlums took advantage of Rivers market fire to loot my warehouse — Victim

 

I am Elder Canaan Lucky and I deal majorly in rice; I sell bags of rice. I also sell beans, salt, oil and other items.


You are one of the victims of the recent fire outbreak at Bishop Okoye Street Market. How did it happen?


We were already in our houses when they called around past eight in the evening that the market was on fire. So, we had to rush down to find out what was happening. By the time we got here, the fire was raging, so we were not able to recover anything.


Can you estimate the worth of goods that you lost to the fire?


I have two stores, which are like warehouses. One was burnt by the fire but unfortunately even my other store, which the fire did not extend to, was looted. Before we arrived here, the ‘bad boys’ had broken into the store, packed and took away everything – rice, beans, oil, as well as the cash that was in my safe in the shop.


The goods I had in the store that got burnt were over N50m. That is not to talk of what was looted from my other store that was not affected by fire.  If you go to the other store now it is open because the bad boys packed everything before we got there and there was nothing we could do.


Were you able to recover anything after the fire?


I cannot say for sure; it is difficult. I had over 3,000 bags of rice in that store. But as you can see, everything burnt down to ashes. I was only able to recover about 200 bags of rice.


How do you feel after losing so much?


Well, as long as we are alive, there is hope. In the Bible, God told Job that He preferred his life, He valued his life more than the properties He gave to him. If God is dealing with us like Job, we give Him praise. It is well.


How do you intend to start all over again?


By the grace of God, the Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, is a kind-hearted governor. I will be very grateful if he can visit us and come to my aid. At least let him assist us financially, we will be able to start from somewhere.


You said hoodlums took advantage of the fire to loot your shop. Doesn’t the market have security men?


It is very unfortunate. There are policemen that were supposed to be here. We even pay them every month, but the crowd was too much. The policemen tried their best, but the crowd outnumbered them.


How often do you experience stealing and criminality here?


It is not often because we have some security. Though they (hoodlums) do break in, it has never been as serious as what happened as a result of the fire. 


ovu: Sunday, 14 March 2021 at 3/14/2021 08:26:00 am

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