The fire razed Oyo’s central commercial area, Akesan Market, almost entirely, leaving only a few shops and a filling station, witnesses, including two traders who suffered losses, said, Premium Times reports.
The fire started around 2 a.m. However, the fire service, whose station is just opposite the market or some 20 metres away, could not respond. People said as the fire was raging said the firefighters complained their equipment was not functioning.
But at about 6 a.m., the response came from Ogbomosho, 50 kilometres away, with firefighters based in that neighbouring town mobilised to stop the Akesan-Oyo fire.
“All Akesan has been razed,” a witness said. “It is only the filling station that is yet to be affected.”
But angry residents started protesting at the gate of the fire station in Oyo and were said to have made a fire with used tyres.
“Three persons have now been killed but they have left with the remains of one,” one witness said. Two more persons confirmed the killings.
As at the time of this report, the firefighters from Ogbomoso were still trying to stop the fire.
The police spokesperson for Oyo State, Gbenga Fadeyi, initially denied the police involvement in the shootings.
“I have called and can confirm there was no police shooting and nobody died,” he said. But when told there were pictures contrary to his claim, he said, “I will intensify efforts and make calls again to confirm”.