Multiple controversies have trailed Tuesday’s massive explosion that rocked the ancient city of Ibadan.
Daily Report Nigeria reports that the Oyo state capital was greeted with a serious vibration following an explosion at the busy Bodija area on Tuesday evening.
The explosion also affected a section of the Governor’s Office, Secretariat, Oyo State House of Assembly, the residence of the former Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Chief Bola Ige, some buildings at Ologuneru, Apete, New Garage, Bashorun, Akobo, Sango and Eleyele.
The first controversy to follow the incident that has left many citizens feared dead and disfigured, was the cause of the explosion.
In a lengthy statement on Wednesday morning, Governor Seyi Makinde attributed the cause of the explosion to an explosive device stored at home by an illegal miner.
“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 said.
However, many Nigerians did not buy into that assessment as they took to the comment section of the Governor’s statement to dispute it.
‘Illegal miners stored explosives that shook over several kilometers, did they plan on mining to hell fire or there’s something else you’re not saying,’ an X user posited.
‘Me I don’t even believe this story. Illegal mining in Bodija? Explosives stored at home? Haba mana. It’s “the more you look the less you see”with these people,’ another X user, Agba Victor said.
Trey Tips, who marked his parents safe from the incident, said;
“But the explosives 🧨 that miners use shouldn’t be this powerful that it was felt more than 10km away from the scene. There is more to this story. I hope the investigating team finds out more details because there is more to this. Thank God my parents who live there are safe, they said it felt like an earthquake so it’s not a random explosives used by miners. May God protect us”
Olorogun Ernest said ‘Oga governor, how can it be illegal mining? It makes no sense at all.’
Shakirat Oluwatosin Raji said, ‘Illegal miners and not mining in old Bodija’.
Meanwhile, others who also found the the governor’s revelation hard to believe, hoped that the ongoing investigations made more concrete findings.
Number of casualties
The number of actual casualties from the Ibadan explosion will continue to be a concern not just for Ibadan citizens, but for all Nigerians.
While initial reports from the incident on Tuesday had put the figure of casualties at well above 10, Makinde’s statement quoted less than 80 percent of that figure.
To be more specific, Punch Newspapers reported 10 persons dead and 15 more injured in its initial and follow up reports to Makinde’s statement.
In the publication, the newspaper quoted its correspondent, who was at the scene of the incident to have counted up to 10 dead bodies prior to the Governor’s pronouncement.
“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,” Makinde had said.
However, several comments disputed the Governor’s figure.
Aside comments disputing Makinde’s announcement, other users drew attention to the Force Public Relations Officer Prince Olumuyiwa Adejobi, who had earlier declared ‘no casualties at the moment.’
Makinde, who visited the scene of the explosion Tuesday night, said though further investigations were still ongoing, anyone found culpable would be brought to book.
The governor also revealed that the “medical bills of victims will be picked by the government” while promising to ensure that all those whose houses were affected were ‘supported to rebuild their lives”
The governor urged residents to be calm, noting that rescue operations had already started at the scene of the incident.
“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.
“I urge all residents to please 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,” he added.