President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has expressed profound sorrow concerning the tragic explosions that occurred on the night of Tuesday, January 16, 2024, in the Bodija Estate area of Ibadan, the capital of Oyo State.
This unfortunate incident resulted in the destruction of numerous buildings, vehicles, and other properties in the vicinity. Chief Ajuri Ngelale, Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, conveyed the President’s condolences to the victims of the explosions in a statement released on Wednesday, January 17, in Abuja, FCT.
President Tinubu emphasized his concern over the distressing fact that the cause of the explosions is being attributed to the activities of illegal miners.
“Those behind the inexcusable and reckless behaviour that has created the conditions for the sad incident to occur must be fished out and punished,” he said.
In addition to expressing heartfelt condolences to the victims, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu extended sympathy to the government and people of Oyo State. He called upon all relevant government agencies to swiftly investigate the circumstances surrounding the tragedy.
President Tinubu specifically directed the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) to collaborate with the Oyo State Government in providing prompt and comprehensive relief to the affected individuals.
Dr. Oladele Alake, the Honourable Minister for Solid Minerals Development, also shared in the sorrow over the tragic events, expressing his deep sadness upon learning of the explosions that occurred on Tuesday night in Ibadan.
“I offer my condolences over lost lives on behalf of the Federal Ministry of Solid Minerals to Governor Seyi Makinde and the good people of Oyo State.
“I also extend my sympathy to the wounded and other victims who suffered one loss or the other, especially residents whose house were destroyed.”
The Minister stated: “I pray the Almighty God to comfort the families of the deceased and grant succour to those who lost valuables as they begin to rebuild,” Dr. Oladele Alake stated.
Dr. Oladele Alake further conveyed that both the Oyo State Government and the Emergency Response agencies at both the state and Federal levels had made commitments to support the victims in their recovery efforts as much as possible. This collaborative effort aimed to provide assistance and resources to help those affected by the tragic incident rebuild their lives.
“I have directed the Ministry’s mine officers, who are already on site in Ibadan to join ongoing investigations to find out the immediate and remote cause of the explosion.
“We have ordered detailed investigation and our officers will work and collaborate with Oyo State Government to know the actual cause,” Alake disclosed.
“If the explosion was caused by mining explosives devices as earlier reported, the Ministry will double its effort to tighten the noose around those acquiring explosives and storing them illegally,” he said.
“I commend Governor Seyi Makinde for the rapid mobilisation of emergency response efforts, including the deployment of fire service, Police, and other security agencies.
“I urge members of the public to always be safety conscious and report persons or organisations endangering public health and security,” he added.
As investigations persist to uncover the immediate and underlying cause(s) of the incident, unconfirmed sources in Ibadan City have purportedly linked the sudden explosions to specific illegal Malian miners. Governor Makinde revealed that these miners had reportedly stored explosives in residential facilities within the affected area over the years. The ongoing inquiry aims to verify these claims and shed light on the circumstances surrounding the tragic explosions.