Ondo Explosion: Afenifere, PDP call for thorough investigation

People gathered at the site where the explosion happened in Akure. [PHOTO CREDIT: Twitter; Rayshell]
People gathered at the site where the explosion happened in Akure. [PHOTO CREDIT: Twitter; Rayshell]

Yoruba socio-political group, Afenifere, and the Peoples Democratic Party in the South West, have raised concerns over the bomb explosion which occurred in the early hours of Saturday at Ilu Abo, in Akure North Local Government Area of State.

No death has been attributed to the explosion which officials have confirmed resulted from a fire from a vehicle carrying explosives. But 13 people are still in a hospital as a result of injuries sustained from the blast.

The blast, which occurred around 1a.m. also caused a deep crater in the middle of the Akure-Owo expressway, keeping travellers stranded for several hours on the highway.

Several houses, including a school and a church were badly damaged.

While expressing its sympathy with Ondo State as a result of the blast, Afenifere, in a statement on Saturday by its publicity secretary, Yinka Odumakin, demanded an inquiry into the incident.

Accounts from the Police Commissioner, Undie Adie, said the explosion occurred from a fire incident from a vehicle that was carrying explosives through the state.

Though the identities of the movers have not yet been known, the police said they were escorting the ordinances (bombs) when they noticed some challenge.

According to Mr Adie, the police escort made efforts to help put out a fire in the engine of the truck, but it grew into a flame and they had to abandon the vehicle to escape from the blast.

Afenifere said it had nothing to contradict the statement of the police, but would demand an inquiry into the disaster in accordance with the Ordinance and Firearm Acts to determine the type of ordinances that exploded.

“The inquiry should be able to ascertain the following:

1. The identities of those transporting the ordinances;

2. The origin of the ordinances;

3. Who assigned the escorting policemen and under what circumstance; 4. Where was the destination of the Improvised Explosive Devices,” the group demanded.

The group also expressed its displeasure with the rate of explosions in Yorubaland in recent time.

“First was the blast in Ekiti State in early February with investigation blaming it on “human error,” the group noted.

“This was followed by the massive explosion in Abule Ado in Lagos which was attributed to some spurious pipeline explosion which we rejected because the long-range impacts of that explosion could not have come from pipeline explosion.

“Till date we don’t know the owners of the articulated vehicles found on the scene of the Lagos explosion while the number of casualties and level of suggested damage done to Catholic-owned Bethlehem School suggested deliberate targeting.

“While we wait to know the level of casualties in the latest incident in Ondo, we appeal to our people to be very careful in these perilous times.”

Speaking in the same vein, the PDP in the South-west noted with displeasure, what it described as yet another explosion within the South-west.

“This development again adds up to a number of previously unexplained and inadequately investigated explosions that had occurred in our recent past,” South West PDP Publicity Secretary, Ayo Fadaka, said in a statement on Saturday.

“These kinds of development continue to dot our landscape since the inauguration of the Buhari administration in 2015 and we feel enough, indeed, should be enough now.

“We recall that about three weeks ago, there was another explosion in Lagos that claimed over seventy lives and till this moment the Federal Government has taken no concrete action to identify the factors responsible for it.

“It is sad to note that another South Western State of Nigeria has been subjected to another unjustifiable explosion that inexplicably terrorized scores of people.

“The PDP condemns this recent development outright and is forced to demand that the Federal Government must do a proper investigation of this matter, bring the facts bare for all to see and develop strategies that will forestall the reoccurrence of such developments again across our nation.

“We find it curious that explosives are carelessly transported across the nation by all sorts of people, thereby continuously exposing Nigerians to untoward harm unnecessarily, this we condemn outright.”

The party also demanded that the government should do an assessment of the losses and pay due compensations for negligence.

“Nigerians must be safe in their homes and nation and if President Buhari cannot guarantee that, he has no business to remain in power for a minute longer,” the party noted

“We loathe and condemn this continuing clueless management of our nation and thus declare our frustration about it.

“Nigeria is not a nation at war and nothing must compromise our peace and security.”

The Governor of Ondo State, Rotimi Akeredolu, had earlier visited the site and described it as an accidental discharge.

He had also promised that the security agencies would do an investigation and unravel the cause of the explosion.

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