Miners Association of Nigeria (MAN), yesterday, condemned the illegal storage of explosives in residential areas said to have been responsible for Tuesday’s explosion in Ibadan, Oyo State.

No fewer than three people were reportedly killed and 77 others injured in the explosion which occurred at the Bodija area of the Oyo State capital.

Impact of the explosion was reported to have been felt as far away as 15km from the scene of the blast. The explosion also damaged at least 58 buildings and 10 cars.

Meanwhile, President of MAN, Mr Dele Ayanleke, has condemned the illegal storage of explosive materials in residential areas by illegal miners. Ayanleke noted that the illegal miners did not handle the explosives according to regulations guiding their acquisition, handling, storage and usage.

He said legitimate mining companies have storage facilities at their mine sites and noted that the storage of the explosives in a residential area only confirmed that the owners planned to use them at unauthorised mining sites, where they did not have mining titles.

“You must obtain a permit and the military must know the quantity of explosives you are buying. Then you must store the materials in the appropriate place in their magazine, and there is a register for that. Government must know how you plan to use the quantity of explosives you are planning to buy. You must obtain permits from the relevant ministry. It is the permits that the miners will take to a government licensed explosives dealer to be able to buy the specified quantity.

“The movement of explosive materials from the point of purchase must also be accompanied by an explosive officer from the bomb disposal unit of the Nigeria police,“ Ayanleke explained.

Related News

He condemned the Ibadan incident and said the association would support any form of government action against the alleged owners of the explosives stored on unauthorised places.

Ayanleke expressed regrets that activities of illegal miners were rubbing off negatively on the legitimate business efforts of genuine miners. He said the association was against any form of illegal mining and called for improved surveillance to prevent a repeat of the explosion.

The MAN president commiserated with Governor Seyi Makinde and the people of Oyo State over Tuesday’s incident, and commended the government on emergency measures deployed to handle the situation.

Following the explosion, the Oyo State government set up an emergency situation hub, on Wednesday, to collate and coordinate information about management of victims of the explosion. The hub has the deputy governor, Mr Bayo Lawal, at its head.

The government urged victims of the explosion to submit verifiable evidence of their losses and seek clarifications on the nature of government’s intervention. It organised temporary accommodation for those displaced by the explosion and promised to finance the hospital bills of those injured.

“Government is interrogating leads suggesting the storage of explosives by illegal miners in the Bodija area of Ibadan as the cause of the explosion,’’ Commissioner for Information and Civic Orientation, Prince Dotun Oyelade, stated on Wednesday, in Ibadan.