Sen. Rabiu Kwankwaso representing Kano Central Senatorial District has pledged to assist the affected artistes whose works of art were destroyed in the recent inferno at the Abuja Art, Craft village.
Kwankwaso, former governor of Kano State made the pledge on Wednesday while on a visit to the popular art and craft village located in the Central Business District of Abuja.
“I have come to see for myself what happened here some days ago.
“It is very unfortunate; I have seen it all. I shall ensure I make necessary contact with the relevant organisations and people in government to assist victims of the inferno.
“We shall try our best in that regards,” he stressed.
The visit lasted for about 10 minutes with artistes and other will wishers.
Meanwhile Mr Kanayo Chukwumezie, president of African Arts and Cultural Heritage Association (AACHA) told newsmen that the coming of the senator to the village was a sign that people love the Artistes and their works.
“The visit shows that the Senator is concern and has sympathy for the artistes here. This is what we expect from other people in government and government agencies.
“He has guarantee us that he will make contact to ensure that the arts and crafts village stays here, because we suspected that the burning of the place is a conspiracy to push us out.
“We lost property worth over four hundred million naira. We have lodge complaints to the necessary agencies.
“We also plan to embark on a peaceful demonstration to tell the public that we were not happy about the fire incidence.
“When the fire was burning the shops, an SUV was use to block the entrance gate to the village. When the fire service arrived, they could not enter and do their work.
“People had to join hands to remove the jeep from the entrance before the fire men got in which was rather late, because much damages had been done,” Chukwumezie said.
The AACHA president noted that Nigeria is blessed with vibrant culture, arts and crafts adding that the village is a melting point of arts and crafts in the country.
“They should please come to our rescue. They should help us renovate the destroyed shops and compensate those that lost their means of livelihood.
“Also, we would appreciate if international organisation and banks also come to assist us because most of us have lost our sources of daily bread,” Chukwumezie.
The cause of the fire is still being invested by the Abuja Electricity and Distribution Company.