Governor Bassey Otu of Cross River State has donated N10 million to the Hausa-Fulani community in the Bogobiri area of Calabar, where palm oil shops were gutted by fire over the weekend.
He also promised to build a palm oil market for the affected community to enhance large-scale palm oil trading.
The governor’s assurances were conveyed to the community by Deputy Governor Peter Odey, who visited the leadership of the Bogobiri community alongside Elvert Ayambem, the Speaker of the state House of Assembly, and other state lawmakers.
Governor Otu said: “As a government, we are indeed very sad with what has happened here given the level of losses recorded.
“For people who have never been here before, they will not know the extent of this carnage. This is very serious considering that this is the centre of trade for the Hausa community in the capital.”
He assured that his government would continue to support the victims.
“For today, we will immediately make available the sum of N10 million, and then we will quickly help in erecting these stores back.
“For those who have lost almost all they have here, I will say that as long as there is life, there is hope, and God, the Almighty Allah, will provide again.
“This must not discourage you in any way; things will happen, but your resilience determines them all. We will do the very best that we can, to bring life back to normal here.
“The new government is trying to put structures in place, and in a not-too-distant time, I believe that we will start functioning at the optimum level that is expected,” he further stated.
The Bogobiri leadership hailed the state governor for the financial support. The head of the community, Alhaji Garba Lawal, explained that the incident occurred when the entire community was engaged in a congregational prayer at the mosque, stressing that the cause of the inferno still remains unknown.
He applauded firefighters, affirming that if not for them, the destruction would have been worse.