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Ibadan Explosives* : *Death Toll Rose to Five, Scores Injured

• *_Oyo govt sets up emergency hub_ 

From Stella Obi

THE number of deaths recorded after last Tuesday night's explosions in parts of Ibadan, capital city of Oyo State has risen to five. About 80 injured victims have also been reported.

Cause of the explosions which set the historical city in tension has been found out to be an apartment where some staff of a mining company occupy with their equipment.

According to Governor Seyi Makinde, the explosion was caused by illegal miners who stored Improvised Explosives Devices(IEDs) in their houses.

Investigations by security agencies revealed that the illegal miners, occupying a house in the Bodija area of Ibadan had stored explosive devices there. Some of the devices malfunctioned and blasted off on Tuesday night. The incident happened at about 7.44pm.

The most hit areas were Dejo Oyelese Street,  Adeyi Avenue and Old Bodija. The blasts also rattled such areas as Agbowo, Eleyele, Orogun, Apete and Ologuneru.

At the hostels of the School of Nursing of the University College Hospital as well as the Oyo State Secretariat (where several offices of ministries, departments and agencies were affected), Water Corporation Building, Revenue House, Local Government Staff Training School, Ace Mall, Domino's Pizza effects of the explosion were noticed.

Oyelade said the explosion made heavy impact  around 15 km apart.

 A press statement issued by Oyo State government informed that the state has set up an emergency situation hub from last Wednesday.

"The Oyo State Government has set up an Emergency Situation Hub to collate and co-ordinate management of victims affected by the explosion that rocked Ibadan" states the Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Prince Dotun Oyelade, who signed the press release. 

He called on "anyone who is affected" to go to the premises of the Housing Corporation, Bodija, Ibadan where the hub, headed by the Deputy Governor, Bayo Lawal, is coordinated.

Oyelade also advised victims to submit verifiable evidences of their losses and seek clarifications on the nature of government intervention.

The statement said that temporary accommodation has been organised by the government for those displaced as a result of the explosion, while the state government will also finance the hospital bills of those injured.

As at press time, many victims have been registered at the hub, while emergency and disaster experts are handling some of the trauma cases.

Investigation by security and law enforcement officers are ongoing as the state government is keen on getting the direct cause of the explosions. 

The commissioner said that as a result of new evidences, government is interrogating certain leads that suggest storage of explosives by illegal miners residing in the area.

During his visit to the scene, Gov. Makinde implored residents of Oyo State to be more sensitive to things happening in their environment. 

"If you see something, say something", the governor emphasised. 

About a month ago Gov. Makinde deployed a squad of military men on a land, air and Intelligence operation at the Oyo National Park to flush out illegal miners and other criminals.

The Commissioner added that residents can call the situation room on 615, or 09040899710 (for sms, Whatsapp and pictorial evidences).

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