Yam sellers at the famous Wukari Yam Market in Wukari Local Government Area of Taraba on Saturday counted losses, following a fire outbreak that destroyed over N200 million worth of yam tubers.
Confirming the incident in Wukari, the Chairman of the Council, Mr. Adi Grace, said several barns of yams in the largest yam market in the state were razed down by the fire.
“We cannot ascertain the cause of the disaster at the moment, but a committee has been set up to identify the cause so that measures will be taken to forestall future occurrence,” he said.
Similarly, the Chairman of the Yam Market Association, Mr. Anthony Agbu, who conducted reporters round the market, said that the fire was noticed at about 2 a.m on Saturday.
Agbu said that tubers of yams alongside other valuables such as motorcycles were destroyed.
He said that the cause of the inferno was yet unknown, but estimated that yams worth over N200 million were burnt to ashes, a situation which he believed would have a negative impact on the traders.
The chairman, therefore, called on the state government and other well-meaning Nigerians to urgently come to their aid as some of the traders fainted on hearing the news of the incident.
Some of the affected traders who managed to speak to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) at the scene of the incident said the damage had eclipsed their investment.
Mr. Emmanuel Gani, a trader at the affected market, said: “I am passionately calling on governments at all levels to come to our aid.”
Mrs. Margaret Adashu, a trader, also lamented that all her earnings have gone down the drain overnight.