Ibadan explosion victims allege neglect, says Government claims N193m spent on bills

Some victims of the recent Bodija explosion in Ibadan, Oyo State, have voiced concerns about feeling abandoned by the state government, as revealed on Monday.

The explosion on Adeyi Avenue, Old Bodija, Ibadan, in the Ibadan North Local Government Area had resulted in five deaths, 55 damaged houses, and 78 injuries on Tuesday, January 16, 2024.

During a visit by our correspondent to the community on Saturday, it was observed that some landlords whose buildings had passed the state government’s integrity test had begun renovating their properties.

Despite the presence of security personnel from the Nigerian Army, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, and Amotekun at various entrances to maintain order, owners and artisans were permitted to transport materials for repairing the damaged buildings.

The state government has been providing temporary accommodation for most affected residents at a local hotel.

In conversations with our correspondent at the hotel, some victims expressed their disappointment with what they perceived as neglect by the government.

One resident, Ayo Ogunlola, shared, “We, as victims of the Bodija explosion, had our houses destroyed. Governor Seyi Makinde took the initiative to house us in various hotels, initially at Calton Gate Hotels. However, our situation worsened when we were relocated to Orchard Hotels with limited food and diminishing amenities.”

Ogunlola continued, “The lack of restored electricity and basic facilities in our area further adds to our distress. We appeal for swift government intervention to alleviate our suffering.”

Another victim, Ibrahim Adekunle, mentioned ongoing efforts by the landlords’ association to engage with the governor for assistance, emphasizing the need for prompt action.

Taiwo Adebiyi also highlighted the expectation for government officials to engage directly with the victims and address their concerns promptly.

In response to the allegations, the state Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Dotun Oyelade, refuted claims of government neglect, citing significant financial support provided to the victims since the incident.

Oyelade stated, “The government has spent over N160m on accommodation and feeding for victims, as well as covering medical bills and security costs, demonstrating ongoing commitment to their welfare.”

He clarified that government actions, including relocation to different hotels for fumigation purposes, have been misinterpreted, reaffirming the administration’s dedication to supporting the affected individuals.

Regarding meal provisions, Oyelade explained that complimentary breakfast is a common practice in many hotels, with the government’s focus on providing dinner considering the residents’ daytime activities.

Culled from NNNG