TOYIN ADEBAYO;JIDE OYEKUNLE
ABUJA – The Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Malam Muhammad Musa Bello, has assured that a thorough investigation will be conducted to ascertain the cause of the fire incident that occurred at the Next Cash and Carry supermarket, along Ahmadu Bello Way, Kado-Kuchi area of Jahi-Kado Expressway in Abuja on Sunday.
The minister, who expressed shock and deep sadness over the fire incident, commiserated with the management and staff of the supermarket and the FCT business community.
The minister in a statement made available to newsmen in Abuja by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Anthony Ogunleye, commended the FCT Fire Service, the Federal Fire Service, the Fire Service Departments of the Nigerian Navy, Air Force, Guards Brigade and Julius Berger Nig. Plc that responded with their fire-fighting equipment.
He equally commended the FCT FEMA, the National Emergency Management Agency, security agencies and other responders for their efforts in containing the blaze.
It would be recalled that goods worth billions of naira were destroyed in a fire outbreak that engulfed the Next Cash and Carry Supermarket building in Jahi area of Abuja.
Fire fighters from different commands came to the rescue to contain the inferno.
Speaking to newsmen, Director, FCT Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Forecasting Response Mitigation, Mrs. Florence Wenegieme, said the agency received a distress call about 9:45a.m, and a team was sent to the location.
An eyewitnesses said when the fire started, there was no fire service around for almost an hour as the fire service facilities in the shopping mall developed fault.
No casualty was, however, recorded yet as the fire started just before the mall opened for business after the Christmas day holiday on Saturday.
However, there were attempts to loot the supermarket while it was on fire.
Josephine Adeh, FCT Police Spokesperson, said: “The suspects who made attempts to cart away goods from the store and were promptly arrested include (1) Ali Audu, aged 18 years; (2) Yahaya Yunusa, aged 20 years; and (3) Sahabi Abubakar, aged 20 years.”
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