JUST IN: Next Cash and Carry Supermarket gutted by fire
Next Cash and Carry Supermarket in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital has been gutted by fire on Boxing Day.
According to eyewitnesses who spoke to Chronicle NG, the cause of the fire could not be determined as the bellow of smoke engulfed the supermarket and neighbouring buildings.
Chronicle NG cannot ascertain if there are any casualties as at press time but can report that calls have been made to the Fire Service Department who have dispatched operatives to the scene.
The supermarket chain is believed to be owned by Peter Obi, the Vice Presidential aspirant of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2019 election and a two-term governor of Anambra state.
The Next Cash and Carry Supermarket situated at Kado Kuchi, Off Ahmadu Bellow way, Gwarimpa Express Abuja is one of the biggest marts in Nigeria’s capital.
Reacting to the fire incident, the FCT Police Command said, “Today Thursday, 26th December 2021, at about 1115hours there was a report of a fire outbreak incidence at Next Cash and Carry Supermarket at Jahi District of the FCT.
“Upon receipt of the information, a team of Police officers attached to Mabushi Police Divisional Headquarters responded swiftly to the scene where a concerted effort of the Federal Fire Service, FCT Fire Service, Julius Berger Fire Service and members of other security agencies were deployed to manage the situation, minimize damage, extinguish the inferno and ensure the maintenance of law and order.
“Well-meaning members of the surrounding communities came out en masse and helped in evacuating goods and other valuables from the supermarket to a safe location within the area with the supervision of Police Officers of the Command who were on ground.
“This is contrary to the news making the rounds as there is no successful case of looting or carting away of goods from the store. The suspects who made attempts to cart away goods from the store and were promptly arrested include (1) Ali Audu aged 18 Years; (2) Yahaya Yunusa aged 20 Years; and (3) Sahabi Abubakar aged 20 Years.
“The Commissioner of Police FCT Command, CP Sunday Babaji, psc, also visited and is currently on ground at the scene alongside the Minister for State, FCT, Dr. Ramatu Tijjani Aliyu, for an on-the-spot assessment and supervision of activities at the scene.
“Investigation is currently ongoing to ascertain the cause of the fire. So far, no casualty has been recorded.”