In solidarity with Gov. Aminu Waziri Tambuwal of Sokoto State, the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) on Tuesday donated the sum of N50 million to government of Sokoto State and the victims of the last week market fire that engulfed significant part of Sokoto Central Market.
In a statement by the governor’s Special Adviser of Media and Publicity, Muhammad Bello said, Ekiti State Governor, Kayode Fayemi, who is also the Chairman of the NGF, announced the donation when he led his Jigawa and Plateau States counterparts to the scene of the inferno in Sokoto.
He also assured the government and people of Sokoto that the Forum will reach out to the apex government in order to ensure that its pledge to assist in rebuilding the market is realized.
This was in reaction to Gov. Tambuwal request that the NGF should lobby the federal government to fulfill it’s promise.
Gov. Fayemi while announcing the NGF’s gift said: the governors will back Tambuwal as one of theirs. “We stand with you. We know you. We stand with you at all times, because this is what you do. We know you best because you stand for all of us in our period of challenges. It is a clearly a remiss on our part if we do not stand in solidarity with your good self and the good people of Sokoto,” the NGF Chairman said.
He added that: “I want to assure you that we will communicate with the federal authorities. Definitely we will get a meeting with Mr President and update him that a delegation of governors had visited Sokoto to commiserate with you and the good people of Sokoto; and, also have an on-site assessment of what actually transpired here.
“Working alongside the Chief of Staff and his team, I am sure we would do something in that regard,” he further said.
Recalling with nostalgia his impressive memories of the market when he served in the metropolis as a youth corp member in the mid-eighties, Fayemi who expressed gratitude to Allah that no life was lost to the inferno, “conveyed good wishes of all the governors of Nigeria, who stand ready at all times to stand in solidarity with the good people of Sokoto,” to the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar.
“We will continue to work with you and monitor the re-development of this market; and, whatever you want us to do, we will, certainly, be willing and readily available,” he emphasized.
In his remarks, Gov. Tambuwal, who noted that sixty per cent of the 16000 stalls in the market was razed while little could be done to salvage goods and materials in the shops by the victims, said the damage was a very colossal loss.
Reiterating the state government’s commitment to rebuilding the market and supporting the traders to go back to their business, the governor appealed to the NGF, its Chairman “and your friends to talk to Mr President that the intervention promised by the federal government is very important as the market serves not only Sokoto State and the North-West but also the entire West Africa sub-region.
“It is a very important business hub that must not be allowed to go down like that,” he added.