A section of the “Oja Oba’s market in Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti State capital, has been set ablaze by some unidentified arsonists in the early hours of Friday, destroying properties worth millions of naira, in a devastating manner.
No fewer than 50 shops as well as two residential buildings were consumed in the inferno which has rendered many people crying for assistance due to the nature of the damage.
Many shops and some residential buildings including household, clothings, children and baby wares including cosmetics and daily needs were razed down in the inferno around 2.00 a.m.
This crisis which started on Monday, took many residents by surprise in Ado-Ekiti yesterday. Many parents did not allow their children to go to school as the “Oja Oba’s market and the Atikankan area was completely shut down due to the crisis, thereby making it difficult for many resident to access the market.
Some schools that opened in the early hours of the day, hurriedly closed for the safely of the children who had gone to school in the morning.
Many residents are now suspicious that the enraged Hausa settlers whose shops and properties were destroyed last Wednesday may have carried out the reprisal attack to revenge the losses.
Owners of the affected shops and stalls were seen lamenting the great loses amidst heavy presence of armed soldiers and mobile men. Most workers who were on their way to different places of assignment could not go further as security men took over the area due to the thick flames from the fire.
Trucks load of mobile and regular policemen as well as soldiers were immediately drafted on the orders of the state government to prevent escalation of the crisis and prevent massive looting.
Governor Ayo Fayose, who personally led security team that included the new Commissioner of Police in the State, Mr. Etop John James to the scene, expressed worry at the turn of event despite his imposition of dusk to dawn curfew only on Thursday.
Meanwhile, the Hausas who are the main dominant people in the troubled spot have been evacuated to “shasha” market along Ikere-road on the order of the state governor, Mr. Fayose.
The Commissioner of Police, Mr. Etop John James, said he was challenged by the character of the state governor who abandoned the luxury of government House to team up with the police in checking the crisis from getting out of hands when he called about 1.00 am.


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