From Msughshima Andrew, Makurdi
A major power generating set at the Benue state government house was on Wednesday, gutted by fire sending palpable fear on staff who scampered for safety.
Our correspondent reports that at the time of the incident, Governor Samuel Ortom was out of the state to attend to important state matters.
The incident paralyzed government activities within the complex and forced staff to abandoned their duties for the day.
However, no life was reportedly lost but several important items were damaged.
It was gathered that the fire started at around 1pm from the generator room located around the account section within the government house complex.
An eye-witness and staff of government house administration who pleaded ro remain anonymous said that the fire started with a thick fume emanating from the generator room close to the accounts section.
This area also shares fence with the State House of Assembly Complex.
According to him, the incident was caused by a faulty electrical connection within the accounts section.
He thanked God that the level of damage was not too much but noted that it took the combined efforts of workers and the State Fire Service stationed in the complex to put out the fire.
“The electric armoured cables supplying light to the account section, the main governor’s office and down to governor’s lodge, were completely burnt down.” he stated.
Another staff told our correspondent that she was eating in her office when she heard other staff shouting for help, calling for fire fighters.
“This is a great lost to the state government because the whole generator sets were burnt and that is the only source that supply light to the entire government house complex”, the source said.
Speaking on the incident, the Permanent Secretary, Government Administration, Mr. Iangba Gabriel, said the firebreak did not extend to the main account.
According to him, it was the generator plant which tried to malfunction but was immediately shutdown to avoid any damage.
“It was not a serious incident and no damage was done. Those things you saw around the area were debris around the generator room that caught fire.
“People are calling me from Abuja including our people who went to EFCC office, that they heard government house complex particularly the account section was set on fire. Infact, it was not true. The burnt wires and poles were properties of old Nitel not NEPA”, Iangba stated.