Rivers State government on Wednesday, pledged the sum of N500 million to support the Sokoto State government rebuild the state’s Central market that was gutted by fire on Tuesday.
Governor Nyesom Wike made the pledge on behalf of the state government when he paid a visit to the Governor of Sokoto State, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal in Sokoto.
Part of the money, it was gathered, will also be used to support victims of the devastating fire that destroyed goods worth billions of naira.
Wike, who was conducted round the destroyed market by Governor Tambuwal, said he was saddened by the inferno which razed over 60 percent of the 16,000 shops in the market.
He said, “We have come here to commiserate and sympathise with our brother, our friend and the good people of Sokoto State on what had happened to one of the biggest market in this country, the Sokoto central market.
“When I got the information last night, I was touched and I said as brothers, what affects you affects us. What affects Sokoto State affects Rivers State.”
Wike, who empathised with the traders over the loss of their good, thanked God that no life was lost in the incident.
He continued, “There is nothing you can equate with life. That there was no life lost, we give glory to the almighty Allah. Having come here, I’ve seen the level of destruction, it is unfortunate. People have lost their goods, the state government will have to see how this market will be brought back to the way it is supposed to be .
“We sympathise with you. We identify with you and we know the negative effect on the economy of the various families; families who depend for day to day trading and sales of their goods.”
Governor Wike expressed his appreciation to the various security and paramilitary agencies that prevented the fire from destroying the entire market.
He pledged that the government of Rivers State will support Sokoto State to rebuild the market and ameliorate the plight of the traders with the sum of N500 million.
“On behalf of the government and the people of Rivers State, we will support the Sokoto State government to see how quickly they can rebuild this market” he added.
Responding, Governor Tambuwal thanked Wike and the people of Rivers state for the kind gesture.
Wike also paid a courtesy visit to the Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar in his palace to commiserate with him over the demise of younger brother, Hon. Abdulkadir Jeli Abubakar, who was Sokoto State Commissioner for Home Affairs.
In his response, Sultan Abubakar, acknowledged the age-long relationship between Sokoto and Rivers State and commended the Rivers governor for sustaining it.
He explained that Governor Wike’s visit and pledge to support the state is a demonstration of what Nigeria is and should be.
The Sultan further commended Governor Wike for his remarkable developmental stride in Rivers State
Similarly, the Sultan lauded Governor Tambuwal for his judicious management of the state resources which earned the State a World Bank grant under the State Fiscal Transparency, Accountability And Sustainability (SFTAS) program.
Below are some photos from the visit and pledge made by Wike.