River state government has pledged the sum of half a billion naira to support Sokoto State government in rebuilding the Sokoto Central market ravaged by fire on Tuesday morning.
In a statement issued by the Special Adviser Media and Publicity to the Sokoto State governor, Muhammad Bello, said part of the money, according to Gov. Ezenwo Nyesom Wike of Rivers State, who made the pledge, is also intended to support the victims of the inferno.
Gov. Wike who visited Sokoto earlier on Wednesday, barely 24 hours after the disaster, said he was shocked and disturbed when he learnt about it.
Affirming that whatever affects Sokoto State also concerns Rivers, he said his administration will do all it takes to ensure that the affected market is reconstructed and becomes functional.
He said a situation where the means of livelihood of the people of Sokoto state, the drive of the government to improve the people’s lives and a broad spectrum of socio-economiic wellbeing of many people will be affected does not augur well for development and progress.
Earlier in his remarks while conducting Gov. Wike and his entourage around the fire disaster scene, Gov. Aminu Waziri Tambuwal of Sokoto State explained that the gutted market has 16,000 shops out of which “at least 60 per cent were affected by the fire.”
He said when the fire broke out the entire state government apparatus and some from the federal government were mobilized to control it.
After inspecting the scene, Gov. Wike and his entourage also paid a courtesy visit to the Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar in his palace.
During the visit to the palace, Gov. Wike condoled the state government, the Sultanate Council and the people of Sokoto State over the death of the late Commissioner for Home Affairs, Hon. Abdulkadir Jeli Abubakar, who was the junior brother of the Sultan.
In his response, Sultan Abubakar, who noted the age-long relationship between Sokoto and Rivers, to expressed gratitude to Gov. Wike for his visit and support to the state
He applauded the host governor, Gov. Tambuwal for his prudent management of the states resources, a performance which fetched it a World Bank grant under the State Fiscal Transparency, Accountability And Sustainability (SFTAS) program.
Turning to Gov. Wike, the Sultan said he is also an excellent achiever who is still executing superb projects which has earned him the title of Mr Project.