The popular ‘Nteps Supermarket’ by FCMB bank on Oron Road, Uyo, was gutted by fire on Friday, 1st April.
According to an eye-witness Mr. Ofonime ‘Clinton’ Essien, who spoke with the Think Akwa Ibom. The fire outbreak, which affected the Mall, started at about 11:00p.m but at 12:00 a.m firefighters had not yet arrived at the scene of the fire incident.
According to him, the cause of the fire is yet to be discovered was yet to be discovered at the time of the incident. “The fire incident burnt the store and was still raging at about 12 am, an hour after it had begun. “The fire has affected the whole supermarket as there was nobody to control or reduce its wild spread. “There was no casualty as staff of the store were able to evacuate the store before the fire consumed the supermarket,” he said.
In a video of the incident below, which was also uploaded to Facebook by Wetinhappen.com.ng, other eye-witnesses were heard complaining in Ibibio about the lack of water to quench the fire.
On the 28th of March, a few days before the fire incident occurred, a social activist, Dr. Asukwo Mendie Archibong had expressed concern over the neglect of the Fire Service Department in Akwa Ibom state. Posting a picture of a fire truck that had broken down on Nwaniba Road, Uyo.
He wrote, “This morning a fire truck broke down as it was responding to an emergency along Nwaniba Road. Consequently, those who needed the emergency were abandoned to their terrible and unpleasant fate.
“If you zoom in you will see a fire official threatening me as I take the picture.
“That this administration has neglected, no, abandoned the Fire Service Department is not subject to debate. Buhari didn’t start the neglect but he has made it worse.
“As you sit on the sideline or numbly support this administration, remember that one day you will need the Fire Service Department either for yourself or your loved ones.
“I call on the government to modernize the Fire Service Department and make it a fully local service controlled by the state and local governments.
“”The role of the Fire Service Department in saving lives cannot be overstated.