Mohammed Oluwatimileyin Taoheed reports,
Gloom came to roost before noon on Sunday, 7th November 2021, as a fire outbreak razed nearly six shops in the Jubril Aminu Hostel Mini-Mart, UDUS.
Pen Press gathered that around 11:17 AM, the Chief Security Officer of UDUS, Rtd. Colonel Abdullahi Gwandu invited the Federal Fire Service Sokoto to the rescue of the shops on fire. However, the rescue team leader, Dalhatu Liman Garam, complained that people intervened as they did their job.
“We’re good at fire stoppage. We have two methods when stopping fires, which are offensive and defensive, and there is this class of fire approach which ranges from A, B, C, to K,” he said.
Speaking with Rakiya Abdullahi, a 400-Level student of Botany who owns one of the shops affected by the fire, said no one could confirm what started the fire. She added that she was summoned from her room in the Zamfara hostel to evacuate the contents of her shop. She lost laptops, a rug and benches.
Another victim, Hasanna Saidu, an aged woman who sells kosai (beans cake) and kunu in one of the shops, said she lost two big coolers, plates, buckets and the pieces of plank she brought to repair the shop.
“I felt sorrow and pity for my neighbours that lost their things. I also lost my phone while trying to pack things out because I was inside my shop when I heard people shouting ‘fire!'”, Al-Amin Abubakar, a recent graduate of Education and English who is also a tailor, told Pen Press that he lost items, including laces and new wrappers.
An eye-witness, Abdullahi Opeyemi Officer, a 200 level Biology student, suggested that the fire resulted from the refuse someone was burning behind the shops. He showed Pen Press the remnants of the burnt waste like freezer, generator, stoves, clothes, to mention a few.
Regarding students who lost documents and credentials, the firemen spoke with the Pen Press. The crew boss encouraged the outfit, as the voice of the students, to relay the importance of coming to their Secretariat to obtain a fire report to the victims.
“The report will allow them to go anywhere because I learnt some students lost their credentials. They will present the report,” Nasiru Ladan of the SSFS urged.
The President of the National Association of Kwara State Students (NAKSS-UDUS), Comrade Qudus Liberty, informed Pen Press that the association had to suspend its weekly congress, ongoing at FAIS at the time of the incident. He said some of the affected shops belonged to the congress’ sub-chapter ‘Ilorin Emirate Students’ Union’.
Mohammed Oluwatimileyin Taoheed is a 100 Level student of the Faculty of Law, UDUS.