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How illegal miners caused Ibadan explosion  

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How illegal miners caused Ibadan explosion  

Olusesan Laoye

Oyo State governor, Engineer  Seyi Makinde  has expressed his sadness over the explosion that  rocked the Bodija Area of Ibadan, known as the homes of the elites, since the era of the late sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, when he was the premier  of the defunct Western Region.

In the explosion, which occurred  at the Adeyi Area of Bodija, two people were reportedly dead, while  over 77 peole, were said to to be injured.

Makinde, who was at  the scene of the explosion, confirmed the casualties and expressed concern and sympathy to the families of those affected.

Although the explosion  was in Adeyi, it was heard and felt in many parts of the city.

Narrating the preliminary  investigations, which he said was carried  out by security agents in the State, Engineer Makinde,  revealed that the blast was caused by illegal miners occupying one of the houses in Bodija.

According to him,  ‘‘Preliminary investigations by the security agencies revealed that illegal miners occupying one of the houses in Bodija had stored explosive devices there which caused the blast. The investigations are ongoing. All those found culpable for this will be brought to book.”

The governor also said he has directed that the medical bills of all victims of the explosion be covered by the government with a temporary accommodation provided for those whose houses were affected by the explosion.

Many houses were damaged in the explosion, some several kilometers from where the explosion occurred.

‘‘We visited the scene of the explosion which occurred at about 7.44 pm yesterday, 16 January 2024 in Bodija, Ibadan. This unfortunate incident resulted in death and injury to residents in the vicinity and also affected properties,” Mr Makinde said late on Tuesday. “We have already deployed first responders and all relevant agencies within Oyo State to carry out comprehensive search and rescue operations. These operations will continue throughout the night.

‘‘Earth moving equipment, ambulances, emergency lights, and security were deployed to the scene of the incident. The wounded and injured are being treated and moved to public and private hospitals within Ibadan. Medical personnel are on standby at these hospitals to provide all needed assistance to the injured. We have visited UCH to see some of those injured during the incident.

‘‘In total, we have 77 injured victims so far, most of whom were treated and discharged and two fatalities. May their souls rest in peace and may God give their loved ones the fortitude to bear this irreparable loss.

‘‘I have directed that the medical bills of all victims be covered by the government. We will also be providing temporary accommodation for those whose houses were affected and ensuring that they are supported to rebuild their lives.”

The Oyo governor urged residents to “call 615 for any emergencies they may be experiencing at this time and to remain calm and stay away from the immediate scene of the incident to allow rescue operations to be carried out without interference.”

‘‘We are grateful to the first responders, security personnel and all those who are at the scene to assist with the rescue operations as well as the medical personnel taking care of the injured.Please say a prayer for those who have been affected by this disaster as we continue with the rescue operations,” he said.

It will  be recalled that Bodija Housing estate  was established during the premiership  of late Chief  Obafemi  Awolowo, as residential quarters for government  functionaries at a low cost, when the then, official quarters for government  functionaries  at Challenge/Scout Camp axis of Ibadan  was no longer  adequate for them, as it was too far to the Agodi government Secretariat.

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The moderate bungalows at the Estate were  then sold for £5,000, payable Iinstalmentally.

Since then Bodija Estste  has become the home of the affluent.

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