ASMATA PG donates #1m to Anambra Market Fire Victims


By Julie Sylvia, Onitsha

The President General, PG, of Anambra State Markets Amalgamated Traders Association, ASMATA, Chief Humphrey Anuna, on Wednesday, donated #1million to fire victims at Nkpor Main market, Idemili North local government area.

Presenting the money to the market chairman, Chief Paul Okafor, the ASMATA President urged the traders affected to take heart, adding that fire incident has become a phenomenon not only in Anambra State but in the entire country and by extension globally.

He said that he was touched by the extent of the damages done by the inferno which prompted him to present this amount of money to the victims to enable them start afresh as their shops and wares were gutted by fire.

He urged them to always believe in God in whatever thing they do, adding that Governor Charles Soludo was also touched by the damages they incured as a result of the inferno, stressing that they should always be mindful of fire outbreaks especially in the markets and home at this harmattan period.

The ASMATA PG however reiterated his intention to better the welfare of the traders and urged the traders to support Governor Soludo in his efforts to take the state to the promised land.

In his response, the chairman of the market, Chief Okafor, expressed satisfaction that the ASMATA PG came to the rescue of the victims and disclosed that 29 shops were touched.

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According to him, “Goods worth over seventy something million naira were damaged in the inferno that started about 1 am on the 20th of December, 2023.

“When I was called to the scene, we put up efforts to quench the inferno reportedly caused by power surge that sparked off light from the cold room in the market and extended to a nearby shop laden with carbides.

“We thank God that eventually we stopped the ravaging inferno without the assistance of fire fighting personnel as they were not within reach as at the time of the inferno,” he stated.

He however, commended the ASMATA PG for donating one million naira to the victims adding that more people are being expected to come to the rescue of the victims.

“We commend the President General of ASMATA for presenting one million naira to us, the victims, and this is the second time he is coming. He came the very first time this fire incident started and promised to come back which he is here today with his executive members and presented this one million naira.

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“We expect others who came earlier and promised to come back to do so as the victims need their assistance either in kind or in cash. Some of these fire victims had been forced to go back to their respective towns because they don’t have money to re establish or start afresh.

“I commend the ASMATA PG, he is really a father and I also commend Governor Soludo for appointing him the PG of ASMATA. With this money and others that will be giving to the victims, there is hope of re-establishment by the fire victims,” he assured.

Also contributing, the line chairman where the 29 shops were located, Mr. Sunday Epundu, commended the ASMATA PG for presenting one million naira to the victims and urged other good spirited individuals/groups to come to the rescue of the traders some of who according to him have been sent to their different communities because of the fire incident.

“We thank God that the fire did not extend to the entire market because of the efforts put in place by traders and sympathisers who rushed to the scene on the fateful day. We made frantic efforts to ensure that we quench the inferno and God being on our side we were able to quench the fire without the assistance of the fire fighting personnel. It is God that did it, if not the fire would have extended to the entire market.

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“I commend the ASMATA PG and his team for remembering us and also call on members of the state House of Assembly and other good spirited individuals/groups to come to our rescue,” he pleaded.

Earlier in his speech, the chairman of Idemili zone, Chief Emmanuel Obiagwu expressed satisfaction with the efforts made by the traders on the day of the incident disclosing that ASMATA felt that the market is part and parcel of ASMATA and that is what prompted them to be physically present to sympathise with them on the fire incident.

“We felt we were touched and through our PG, we decided to present this money to help you, the victims, to start afresh as all your wares were burnt to ashes. So take heart and with the little money you get, it will enable you to start afresh as such is life,” he affirmed

Pic shows ASMATA PG with his exco presenting the #1m to the fire victims

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