Traders broke down in uncontrollable tears as they lamented and counted their losses following a fire outbreak which gutted the Uwelu motor spare parts market in Benin City, the Edo State capital.
No fewer than one hundred shops with goods stored in them were destroyed beyond recognition.
Confirming the ugly incident, the Chairman of the Motor Spare Parts Association, Uwelu branch, Ibie Osaretin, said they got the fire alert around 11:00 pm on Monday.
Osaretin, also disclosed that they were unable to salvage the situation early enough to recover goods from these shops.
He, however appealed to the government and relevant bodies to come to the aid of the traders so that they can recover their loss and return to business.
Also reacting, the Vice-Chairman of the Egor Local Government Area where the market is situated assured the traders that the government would intervene in their predicament.
‘Lekan Are’s death came at a time his wise counsel is still required’ – Ajimobi
Immediate Past Governor of Oyo State, Senator Abiola Ajimobi has expressed great sadness at the passing away of foremost agronomist, businessman, philanthropist and Chairman of University Press Plc, Dr Lekan Are.
Senator Ajimobi said his death came at a time his wise counsel is still required by the people of Oyo State and Nigerians in general. “ We however take consolation in the fact that he lived a life of service to the people. He has also left indelible prints in the sands of time”, Ajimobi said.
A condolence message by the Spokesman to the former governor Bolaji Tunji, quoting Senator Ajimobi said Dr Are would be missed by all and sundry especially those he had touched through his philanthropic gestures. “His legacies of good work will continue to live after him”, Ajimobi said.
The former Governor said the family should however take consolation in the fact that the late Laguna Bobajiro of Ibadanland lived a good life.
“His contribution to the development of his alma mater, the Government College Ibadan where he was a former chairman of the old boys association, his investment in the health sector in Oyo state and Nigeria are worthy legacies that his family should be proud”.
Senator Ajimobi noted that Dr Are in his lifetime had shown deep concern for the development of Oyo State. “ In this we had always been in agreement and that contributed immensely to the cordial relationship we shared. We pray for the repose of his soul”.
Our society demands us to be magnanimous to the less-privileged – Makinde
The wife of Oyo State governor, Mrs Tamunominini Makinde has charged the rich in the society to always find ways of giving back to humanity by caring for the less-privileged.
She said the rate of poverty and despair among the people has called for concerted effort to create means of survival and shelter for those in dire need, especially Nigerians suffering from loss occasioned by insurgence or natural calamities.
Mrs Makinde said this over the weekend while receiving gift items donated by MTN Foundation to Juveniles Correctional Institution and Child Care Unit, Ijokodo, Ibadan on behalf of the State government.
She said “a large percentage of Nigerian population today are going through hell on earth for reasons they were not the cause or directly responsible for, the rate of suicide and despair among Nigerians could be traced to the condition of the economy which has forced many out of their jobs and rendered many homeless.
“It is the responsibility of those who have the financial power to cater for the need of these sets of Nigerians, we urge the corporate bodies to tow the path of MTN Foundation and give back to the society by donating items that will keep those in need alive, they should start to build institutions like schools, libraries, hospitals and the rest to facilitate empowerment for those in dire need of survival.
“The present administration in Oyo State has made it the major cardinal programme to put the welfare of workers, the less-privileged and the generality of the people into consideration in all policies and activities of the government, this is reflected in the free education policy and you can see the result in the influx of pupils back to school, as financial burden on the parents are now light.
“Children used to beg in the street and those that have left school due to reasons of homelessness among others are today going to school from government-controlled orphanage homes and it is a thing of joy when you think of the outcome of such interventions,” she added.
Mrs Makinde was accompanied by the Wife of the Deputy Governor, Professor Bolanle Olaniyan and the State Commissioner for Women Affairs and social inclusion, Alhaja Faosat Sanni to the event.
Earlier the Executive Secretary, MTN Foundation, Mrs Odunayo Sanya while handing over the items donated said, the gesture was part of the organization’s corporate social responsibility to the people and a way of raising the living standard of the less privileged in the society, as according to her, everyone deserved the benefit of a conducive living.
She explained that the provision of basic living amenities and consumables to the less privileged was critical to the growth and development of the nation, emphasizing that the Foundation was passionate about making life better for the children.
Expressing her gratitude to the Foundation, Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Inclusion, Alhaja Faosat Sanni described the gesture as timely and uplifting and appreciated the caregivers for their support, love, care and dedication to humanity, enjoining them to use the gifts donated maximally for the benefit of the children.
Items donated are consumables, toiletries, detergents, diapers among others.
Makinde mourns Ibadan business mogul, Lekan Are
Oyo State Governor, Engineer Seyi Makinde, has described the death of a former President of the Government College Ibadan Old Boys Association (GCIOBA), Dr. Lekan Are, as a huge loss to Oyo State, the education sector and the media.
Governor Makinde, in a condolence message made available in Ibadan on Saturday, said that he received the news of Dr. Are’s demise with sadness, adding that the late industrialist would be greatly missed in different sectors of the economy.
A statement by the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Makinde, Mr. Taiwo Adisa, quoted the Governor as saying that Dr. Are left indelible marks of greatness on the sands of time.
“We are deeply saddened at the news of the demise of a respectable elder statesman and an industrialist per excellence, Dr. Lekan Are.
“His demise at this critical period in the life of our nation, when economic indices appear not to be adding up, is a huge loss, given his laudable contributions to the growth of several sectors.
“As a state, we will particularly miss Dr. Are’s inimitable contributions to the development of one of our iconic secondary schools, Government College Ibadan.
“We are equally proud of his contributions that have made The Punch newspapers a leading light in the Media sector.
“On behalf of the Government and the good people of Oyo State, I commiserate with the Are family, the GCIOBA family, The Punch and other associates and pray that the good Lord grants them the fortitude to bear the loss,” the statement read.
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