By OLUWOLE FAROTIMI
The Lagos State Government yesterday denied claims that the Islamist sect, Boko Haram was responsible for the multiple explosions that rocked the Island. Governor Babatunde Fashola (SAN) assured all residents of their safety as they go about their normal businesses during the festive season. The governor who gave the assurance through his Special Adviser on Media, Mr. Hakeem Bello, said the reported explosion on Lagos Island yesterday morning was not caused by a bomb.
He said: “There was a need to correct the impression created this morning (yesterday) by speculations that an explosion heard was as a result of a bomb planted in the Lagos Island neighbourhood.” Fashola noted that the incident occurred in a warehouse used to store fireworks meant for sale this season at the Jankara Market, adding that due to the nature of the materials, resulted in a blaze, which affected nearby buildings. The state Emergency Management Authority (LASEMA) team, led by Dr. Oke Osanyintolu said the incident, which took place on Ojo Giwa Street in front of King Ado High School, did not record any casualty.
He said due to the agency’s prompt response and men of the Lagos State Fire Service, all the occupants were rescued. The incident, which affected over three buildings located at Okoya/Ojogiwa, Lagos, occurred at about 8:00am. An eyewitness, who gave his name as Williams Hitler, told our correspondent that the explosion occurred when a locked-up shop in one of the three buildings stocked with fireworks (bangers) suddenly exploded and went up in flames. According to him, “we have only seen one dead body but most of these boys selling here also sleep in the shops.
We are afraid that they have been killed in the explosion. We saw them yesterday but have not seen them now. I pray they are still alive.” As a result of the explosion, it was learnt that the building which had a shop under it and two others adjoining caved in. , even when residents of the buildings who celebrated Christmas festivity in high mood were still on their beds hoping to witness the boxing day.