Bamigbola Gbolagunte, Akure and Ndubuisi Orji, Abuja
There was tension in Akure, the Ondo State capital, yesterday as no fewer than 20 persons sustained varying degrees of injuries in an explosion that rocked the town.
This came 13 days after a devastating explosion also rocked Abule Ado area of Lagos in which scores lost their lives and several property destroyed.
The Akure explosion saw several buildings, including residential houses, shops and schools, destroyed.
The development also rendered about 70 persons homeless as their houses and personal belongings were destroyed.
The explosion, which occurred at Eleyowo-Iluabo along Owo-Akure road in Akure North Local Government Area of the state was reportedly caused by a truck going to Edo State which reportedly carried dynamites.
The state Commissioner of Police, Mr Undie Adie who confirmed the incident debunked rumours making the round that the blast was a bomb explosion.
He said the owner of the truck that conveyed the dynamites had spoken with him and police interim investigation showed that the substance that exploded was dynamite.
The police commissioner said that the truck, which contained the devices that got exploded was conveying dynamites for a quarry company in Auchi, Edo State.
According to the police boss, the dynamites were bought in Ibadan, Oyo State en route Auchi, Edo State and exploded in Akure.
He said the vehicle broke down in Shasha market and later in front of Aina Awawu group of schools where it eventually exploded.
Adie said the policemen who were following the truck at distance told them to leave the vehicle before it exploded.
Among the buildings that were destroyed by the explosion were Aina Awawu International College, which is a full boarding school and a church, “Possibility Church”.
The Principal of Aina Awawu International College, Roland Kayode who said he was informed of the development by the school’s security guard said that he was thankful to God as none of the students was in school due to the shut down of schools occasioned by the Coronavirus disease.
Also, the founder of Possibility Church, Mrs Olayemi Adesida who was in church when the incident happened said that the building collapsed on her while she struggled her way through the debris.
She explained that 10 members of the church were injured as a result of the blast, stressing that the victims are currently recuperating at the hospital.
Meanwhile, Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu had visited the scene of the explosion to assess the extent of damage, with an appeal to the residents of the area to steer clear of the scene of the explosion.
The governor appealed to all residents to be calm and refrain from flaunting theories that are capable of distracting the security agencies in their investigations.
Akeredolu also advised the people to be careful and take precautions not to rush to the scene.
This, according to him, is pertinent because the blast, the scene and its immediate effects are already security concerns.
Meanwhile the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has expressed shock over the Akure explosion.
The PDP in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, yesterday, charged the Federal Government to set up an inter-agency investigative panel to unravel the cause of the incident.
It stated that the panel when set up should conduct a forensic investigation into the remote and immediate cause of the explosion, particularly the source of the reported explosives and the purpose they were meant to serve.
The opposition said that a forensic investigation of the incident has become imperative owing to the spate of explosions across the country in recent time.
“The PDP also demands that the Federal Government should immediately provide palliatives to the victims as well as the communities affected by the blast,” it said.