Shops in Samek Junction, Ariaria International Market, Aba city in Abia State, southeast Nigeria, were razed by fire on Thursday morning.
POLITICS NIGERIA learnt that but for ‘Aba Boys’ who came out in their numbers to help stop the fire from spreading to the other side of the market before the arrival of the state fire service, the devastation caused by the fire would have been enormous. Some traders lost their goods to the inferno.
Ariaria International Market is an open-air market located in Aba, nicknamed “China of Africa”.
It is known for its shoemaking and leather works,
thus making it one of the largest leather shoe-making markets in West Africa with an estimated two million traders. Manufacturers in the market boast that their clientele base extends beyond the shores of Africa.
Media reports showed that between 2019 and 2021, Nigeria experienced severe fire incidents, leading to 79 deaths out of 68 fires recorded in 18 months.
Also, statistics from the Federal Fire Service (FFS) indicates that between 2020 and 2021, a total of 4,541 calls were made to the agency nationwide and 378 rescue emergencies were recorded.