By Idris Ahmed
An angry mob early morning on Saturday attacked staff of the Federal Ministry of Works and Federal Fire Service over their alleged failure to quench a blaze that engulfed a multi-billion naira electrical and electronics super store in Lokoja, Kogi state capital.
The super store located on the popular IBB Road in the state capital, was alleged to have been gutted by fire following intermittent power outages at about 10.30 pm. It continued to burn till the next day, despite the efforts of volunteers.
Irked by the absence of fire fighters from both the state and federal agencies, some youths constituted launched an attack on the Federal Ministry of Works situated opposite the scene of the inferno.
The Federal Ministry of Works and Fire Service which happen to be in the same premises were vandalised and property worth millions of naira including office equipment were allegedly destroyed.
The mob was also alleged to have uprooted the pole hoisting the national flag and went ahead to shatter the window pales of the mosque in the federal ministry’s Lokoja office.
All efforts to reach the Kogi state Commissioner of works, Engineer Abubakar Ohere, or other relevant officials of the state ministry of works to comment on the incident failed as phone calls were not answered.
However, officials of the federal ministry of works and fire service have confirmed the attack on their facilities, saying the mob acted in ignorance .
The officials who spoke under conditions of anonymity, said normally the federal fire service in the state is to compliment the state fire service, but couldn’t do so because its machines were faulty.
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The owner of the mall, Mr Peter Ojuneme, who expressed shock over the incident, thanked the people of Lokoja and the Kogi state for their support, sympathy and encouragement, calling on relevant agencies to investigate the cause of the inferno to avert future occurrence, not only to him, but also others.
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