Following the explosion that occured in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, on Tuesday, the state governor, ‘Seyi Makinde, has declared that culprits of the unfortunate incident will not go scot-free.
President Bola Tinubu also sympathised with the state government and promised support, just as an emergency centre and temporary accommodation has been provided by the Makinde administration for the victims.
Residential buildings on Dejo Oyelese Street, off Adeyi Avenue experienced massive explosion on Tuesday, leading to loss of lives and destruction of several property.
Addressing a press conference on the incident, on Wednesday, Governor disclosed that the state government has identified the company that stored up the explosives, declaring that it will be brought to justice.
The governor declared during the press conference, held at the Briefing Room of the Governor’s Office: “Those who brought this tragedy on Oyo State will be brought to book.”
Governor Makinde however called for calm, assuring that the state government has been on top of the situation.
He also said the government is not leaving any stone unturned regarding the search and rescue of victims at the rubble of the incident, as well as the welfare of victims and the security of their property.
Makinde maintained that it was a trying time for the state, but urged the people to draw on their strength and resilience and be their brother’s keepers.
According to the governor, some measures already taken by the state government to address the situation included the setting up of an Emergency Operation Centre to oversee search and rescue.
He vowed that search and rescue efforts would continue until all lives in the vicinity of the blast have been accounted for.
He said the state government had also made provisions with hotels to accommodate victims and those living close to the site of the incident once they were able to identify themselves.
Governor Makinde, during the press conference, also revealed that President Bola Tinubu spoke to him to commiserate with families who lost loved ones to the incident.
Makinde, who spoke with the president, shortly before the commencement of the press conference, disclosed that Tinubu promised the support of the Federal Government on the situation.
He appreciated the president for also deploying the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), which he noted was on the ground at the scene of the explosion.
The governor recounted that so far, there are three deaths from the explosion and that the number of the injured was about 77.
He warned residents of the state to be wary of spreading fake figures and misinformation regarding the fatalities and the number of casualties.
The press conference came shortly after the governor had visited some victims of the explosion at different hotels around Bodija, Idi Ape and Ikolaba axes, where the state government was providing accommodation and feeding for them.
He said: “Since yesterday [Tuesday], our security agencies, first responders, emergency services and all other relevant agencies have been working diligently as they carry out search and rescue operations.
“Just this morning, another individual was recovered from the rubble. I want to assure you that the search and rescue operation will continue until all lives within the vicinity of the blast are accounted for.
“We are aware that aside from the immediate perimeter of the incident, people as far as 25km away may have been affected physically or psychologically.
“We have, therefore, put the Emergency Operation Centre, which is being headed by Professor Temitope Alonge, to coordinate all search and rescue efforts.
“I would like to appeal to our people to remain calm as we do everything to provide succour to everyone concerned.
“Some numbers have been provided to reach out to the Emergency Operation Centre. I know the 615 is operational but there are additional ones: 07049948057 and 08147672009.
“If you have any information regarding any persons who may still be trapped within that perimeter. Please call that number and we will respond to you.”
The governor appealed to those staying in any of the houses within 250 metres of ground zero to move out to government-provided accommodation until structural integrity test was conducted on the buildings.
Makinde also issued a stern warning to individuals who might be planning to take advantage of the incident to perpetrate crimes, noting that security agents would deal decisively with such individuals.
He promised that the state would continue to provide regular updates regarding the actions it was taking through the EMO and its various back channels on and off social media.
Addressing pressmen, the Head of the Emergency Operations, Professor Temitope Alonge, said an emergency response to the incident was to set up a team of about 40 doctors, 40 nurses and 25 medical students at the University College Hospital (UCH), Ibadan.
He added that the victims that were injured were receiving medical attention in private and government hospitals and that most of them were in stable condition.
“Apart from doctors and nurses, we have added to our team physiotherapists, clinical psychologists. They were on ground yesterday to assess the psychological state of the survivors of this unfortunate incident.”
Also speaking, Special Adviser on Security to the Governor, Commissioner of Police Fatai Owoseni (rtd), said the area of the incident has been secured to ensure that hoodlums do not perpetrate crimes as a result of the explosion.
He, however, corrected some falsehood, misgivings and misinformation on the incident.
Owoseni said: “We want to use this opportunity to correct misgivings. People have come out to say that Boko Haram elements have been allowed to invade Oyo State, especially Ibadan. This is incorrect.
“Some people have also said a helicopter flew over the place and dropped the bomb. That is, in its entirety, incorrect too.
“People have said construction sites around that place had used dynamite, and in the course of that, the incident happened. Let me say it is also not correct.
“We, from the security angle, can say that the preliminary evidence is indicative that for some time, people must have been storing explosives in that area, and it is not just fresh.
“It must have been something that had accumulated for some time. His Excellency has always said if you see something, you must say something.”