Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde, on Monday, said he had presented the report of last Tuesday’s explosion at Dejo Oyelese Close, Adeyi Avenue, Bodija, Ibadan to President Bola Tinubu.
This was as the Minister of Solid Minerals Development, Dele Alake, led a delegation of the Federal Government for an on-the-spot assessment to the site of the explosion.
reports that the explosion that rocked Adeyi Avenue around 7:30 pm last Tuesday killed five people, injured 77 people and damaged about 58 houses.
The President had earlier commiserated with the government and people of Oyo State following the incident, while he directed the National Emergency Management Agency to work with the state government to offer immediate and comprehensive relief to the victims.
Alake, during the visit, expressed shock at the scale of devastation and unfortunate loss of lives, stressing that the disaster was man-made and regrettable.
“ I am here to convey Mr. President’s deepest sympathies to you and to assure you that the administration stands shoulder to shoulder with you in your efforts to get back to your normal lives and attain full recovery. Rest assured that succour that will ameliorate the impact of the tragic incident is underway.
“Let me assure the people of Oyo State that there will be full disclosure of the report of investigations and those found culpable will be made to face justice whilst mechanisms will be put in place to prevent a recurrence,” the minister said.
Briefing the minister on the state government’s rescue efforts, head of the state’s .
Makinde, in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media, Sulaimon Olanrenwaju, in Ibadan, said he was at the Aso Rock Villa, Abuja, at the weekend to present the report of the incident to the President.
“The governor appreciated the Presidency for its support following the incident, noting that the state government would do everything possible to provide succour to victims and to fish out and punish those behind the tragedy,” the statement read.
Makinde, also on his X handle, revealed that integrity tests were being conducted on about 230 properties around the scene of the explosion.
The properties, according to the governor, include 13 houses within 50 metres radius of the blast site, 40 houses within 100 metres radius, 122 houses within 200 metres radius and 53 houses within a 250 metres radius.
Makinde wrote, “The clinical psychologist has commenced counselling for victims of the incident at the Emergency Operations Centre in Ibadan.
“The operations at ground zero have moved from search and rescue to recovery. Let me use this opportunity to thank the Nigerian Society of Engineers who have been carrying out structural integrity tests on about 230 properties around the site of the explosion; 13 houses within 50 metres radius of the blast site, 40 houses at 100 metres radius; 122 houses at 200 metres radius and 53 houses within a 250 metres radius.”
Makinde thanked Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State “for releasing the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency to support us and for the assistance offered by the team led by Engineer Olatunde Akinsanya, the Director of Operations.”
“The security agencies are still investigating the incident and an update on their investigation will be publicised. Our administration remains committed to supporting all victims of this unfortunate incident and ensuring that everyone responsible is brought to book,” the governor said.
Meanwhile, the President of the Miners Association of Nigeria, Dele Ayanleke, told The PUNCH on Monday, that the association did not know the miners whose explosives were said to have caused the Ibadan explosion.
Ayanleke also blamed the incident on a lack of enforcement by regulators and agencies involved in the mining licensing process.
He said, “The government registered and licensed organisations to deal with explosives whenever you obtain a mining title, especially a small-scale mining lease or quarry lease. You are entitled to apply for the purchase of explosives but before then, you must apply for a permit to install a magazine, a special purposely-built storage for explosives. And once the approval is given, the construction must be supervised right from the foundation to the roofing by the Mines Inspectorate Department of the ministry, because they know the specifications and equipment to use and how to do it.
“Thereafter, anytime a miner wants to procure explosives, you must also go to the same ministry to obtain a permit stating the quantity you want at any point in time and they would give approval based on request every time you need it and this approval is copied to some other agencies like the Department of Security Services and the Anti-Bomb Squad of the Nigerian Police. They are usually aware of these dealings because before you can procure it from any licensed dealer, a bomb disposal expert must be available, who will accompany the materials from the point of purchase to your magazine.
“Anything outside of this is illegal, even at the mining site, a magazine is constructed far from where people stay just for safety purposes. There are rules, regulations and procedures. So, in this case, everything was flouted.”