CP Idowu Owohunwa

CP Idowu Owohunwa

…Police call for restraint in giving extraneous colouration to incident

… Ajeromi Ifelodun chairman says cause of the fire disaster unknown

Juliana Francis

One person is feared dead, and many others are injured after unknown masked men invaded and burn down the Akere Motor Spare Parts Market, Tolu, Olodi Apapa Lagos.

The Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Benjamin Hundeyin, who confirmed that the market was burnt, added that a 65-year-old security guard died in the fire.

He added that the State’s Commissioner of Police has called for restraint in people giving any form of extraneous colouration to the incident.

According to sources, goods worth billions of naira were destroyed in the inferno.

An eyewitness said: “Men wearing masks came to the market in four motorcycles, also with them were shuttle bus with seven occupants, also masked, they were armed. This was happening around 3:am and they shot sporadically, scaring people. They killed a taxi park security guard who tried to stop them. Last week Thursday,  the same scenario almost played out, but those that came were overpowered by the local security. The market leaders reported to the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) in charge of Tolu Post, who promised he and his men would handle the situation.”

Speaking further on the issue, Hundeyin said: “The Lagos State Police Command has commenced an investigation into the early morning fire at the Akere Motor Spare Parts Market, Tolu, Olodi Apapa Lagos.

“The fire which started at about 0300hrs was put out by a combined team of officers from Tolu Police Division and the Lagos State Fire Service. Sadly, a 65-year-old security guard lost his life in the incident.

“The Commissioner of Police, Lagos State Command, CP Idowu Owohunwa, has urged Lagosians to remain calm as the State Criminal Investigation Department has been directed to take over investigation towards unravelling the true circumstances surrounding the attack. He equally calls for restraints in giving any form of extraneous coloration to the incident, while assuring that the outcome of the investigation will be made public.”

The Hon. Supervisor, Information, Strategy and Communications of Ajeromi Ifelodun Local Government, Valiant Samson Idowu-Alaba, in a statement, said that the immediate cause of the fire disaster was still to be established, even as he urged everyone to remain calm.

He added: “The Chairman of the Council, Hon. Fatai Ayoola Ebie was among the early callers to the scene after rushing to see for himself the extent of the damage as soon as he got wind of the incident. While at the scene, he sympathized with the traders, appealed for calm, ordered an investigation into the remote cause of the incident and assured the traders of the government’s resolve to rebuild the market.

“The Chairman has also gotten in contact with the executives of the market association. The Local Government legislators are also billed to visit the scene later today. Alas, since the news of the fire incident broke out overnight, there have been spurious allegations on the incident from social media commentators. We would like to caution against inflammatory reactions that could compound the already tense situation.

“Not to preempt the outcome of the investigation, responses from residents of the area have indicated that an ignition from the nearby gas station led to the incident. Some others averred that it was an electric spark from one of the shops that caused the fire. Those who are insinuating unfounded rumours should be reminded that the Council Secretariat itself had been gutted by fire before. So also was the Alayabiagba Modern Market at Boundary. On both occasions, there were no jejune rhetorics.

“The affected market is being condoned off and the security agencies have been directed to mount a 24-hour surveillance in order to keep-off urchins from looting the remains of the wreckage.

“Hon. Ayoola reassures the people of the Local Government of their safety and that of their properties and enjoins the people to go about their normal businesses as normalcy is being restored.”


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