By Lawal Sa’idu Funtua
A federal government delegation led by the Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami has paid a sympathy visit to Katsina State over the fire incident that destroyed hundreds of shops at the Central Market in Katsina on Monday.
The delegation’s first point of call was the Central Market where they met with the affected traders and expressed government’s sympathy over the incident.
The delegation assured the traders of government’s resolve to provide assistance to them to enable them recover the losses they had incurred as a result of the fire outbreak.
The delegation was also at the palace of the Emir of Katsina where the Attorney General expressed President Muhammadu Buhari’s sympathy to the traders as well as the Emirate, the government, and people of the state over the incident.
He announced that the President had given directive to relief agencies in the country to conduct a comprehensive assessment of the level of damage wreaked by the fire and provide assistance to those affected.
He said the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development was included in the delegation to avail her a first hand glimpse of the level of destruction in the wake of the fire incident, to put the ministry in good position to provide assistance to the victims.
Malami said the federal government will also engage Katsina government towards developing infrastructure and taking other measures to avert a recurrence of a fire incidence of such magnitude.
In his remarks, the Emir, Alhaji AbdulMumini Kabir Usman thanked President Buhari for sending the delegation to condole with people of the state and urged the federal to provide urgent intervention to those affected.
While at the Government House in Katsina, Governor Aminu Bello Masari disclosed that a fact finding team from the state Ministry of Commerce and the State Emergency Management Agency was already at the market to carry out an on-the-spot assessment of the quantum of losses incurred in the inferno.
He said officials will also take stock of the number of shops affected and the level of assistance that should be provided to the victims.
Masari expressed appreciation to the President for sending the high-powered delegation for the sympathy visit and pledged his government’s readiness to suport the federal government’s efforts at rendering assistance to the traders affected by the calamity.
Members of the federal delegation include the Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, Minister of Police Affairs, Maigari Dingyadi, and the Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika.
Others were the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Hajiya Saadiya Faruk and the Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu.