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Fresh Posers Over Deadly Ibadan Blast

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Some security experts are questioning claims by the Oyo State Government that the explosion that ravaged Bodija area of Ibadan, the state capital last Tuesday was caused by dynamites used by illegal miners.

Security experts with knowledge about the nature and workings of explosives have strongly disagreed with the state government, arguing that the tragedy was triggered by an explosive device other than dynamite.

But some other security experts are of the view that the state government’s position is in order.

A retired major in the American Army Yinka Ogunsanya first disputed the Oyo State government’s claim.

He said the explosion was not caused by miners’ explosives.

Retired Major Mohammed Bashir Galma did not agree with him.

He told The Nation that the Ibadan explosion would have killed more people if it had been caused by a bomb.

Galma said “that one was trained by the US Army does not make him an expert in all fields. “For God sake we have experts in Nigeria.

“The Governor of Oyo State, Mr Seyi Makinde is an educated person; most people who live in Bodija where the explosion happened are educated people, so, someone who is not on ground should not come and tell us what is not.

“I listened to a retired Nigerian Army Officer, though he is my junior who is now a leader of CAN in the South-West, he gave a fantastic analysis of what happened in Ibadan. So, it is wrong of Major Ogunsanya (rtd) to draw conclusion that, because the explosion caused a huge crater in the ground and the same radial destruction outwards from the epicenter, it is suspected to be some mechanized, pressurized and nitrate based manufactured bomb designed to cause catastrophic damages and kill

“What I know is that what makes the difference in explosions is the shrapnels. If the Ibadan explosion was a mechanized bomb designed to kill as insinuated, there would have been shrapnels in it and it would have killed many more people than it did.

“So, to me the explosion may not be more than the miners’ explosives as reported. What we need to know is that the size of the explosion and its impact depend on the amount of the miner’s explosive stored in the house. The explosives in Ibadan must have been poorly stored and in large quantities to have caused the level of damage it caused.”

He noted that similar explosions had happened elsewhere around the world with similar impact.

He therefore called for thorough investigation of the incident, which he said will lay to rest the unscientific conclusions being peddled around, adding that Nigeria has experts that can carry out such investigation.

A former Police Inspector General,Sir Mike Okiro and a former Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Commissioner of Police, Lawrence Alobi aligned with the position of the state government, saying they could not contradict the government since they are not on ground to conduct any investigation into the nature of the explosive that went off.

Okiro said: “In developed countries we normally have those things stored in industrial areas to forestall this kind of disaster that occurred in Ibadan.

“People cannot carry explosives anyhow. I think there is a law that guides people on that. They are not abiding by it. That law must be re-enforced to avoid this kind of thing happening again.

“This is an eye opener to all of us and we should avoid future occurrences. Other states should prevent this type of thing from happening.”

Speaking in the same vein, Alobi said: “It is so sad that this type of thing would happen in a country where people should always abide by the law. Those involved should be brought to book. Everyone should be worried about this sad development. Government has a lot to do on this.”

Another retired Commissioner of Police, and bomb expert Dan Okoro advised Nigerians to be careful with the use of chemical explosives in mining activity.

Okoro who is also a former Special Adviser (SA) to Imo State Governor on Security, said the Ibadan explosion could be attributed to dynamite which is commonly used in construction and excavation.

“We should wait for the outcome of the police bomb disposal unit investigation,” he said”

He said: “A bomb is specifically designed for a particular target and it is detonated for a specific target.

“In the case of what happened in Ibadan, if it was a bomb that was used, the fragment will give a lead as to what type of explosive it was because bomb has chips in it. So, it is the fragment that will tell whether it is for constriction or a particular target.”

Okoro said the explosives must have been packed for a long time in an enclosure.

His words: “I believe the explosives are for construction, but you know when you keep something that is explosive parked in a place for too long, they can expire.

A social commentator John Ogunlela,writing on his Facebook wall @john.ogunlela said: “This is significant. Let’s look at the physical elements:

The crater.

“The big hole is where the explosion originated from. The explosive material was sitting on that place. From the size and shape, it was a localized, powerful material. This wasn’t an explosion of warehoused materials, it was a specific, high explosive. It looks 4-5m deep and 9-12m wide.

The radius of blast.

“It is an even cone. The blast wave radiates upward and outwards with its stump at the crater. You can see it obliterated everything close to the crater and as its power diminishes outwards, it only beheaded fences and then ruined rooftops in the peripheral areas. The radius of effective destruction is about 33m with additional 70m of lighter destruction, mostly involving roofs (making a total of about 90-110m). The crater looks like 4m deep and 9m wide. This will be something like 200kg of high explosive or 70% more of dynamite.

“Can anybody tell us what was in that centre – the ground zero before the blast? If it was an open space, then this was a car bomb. If it was a home, then it could be a pallet of dynamite intended for rock blasting. Studies of the chemical composition of the explosive are called for so we can be certain it wasn’t a military ordinance.

“The really weighty thing, in my observation and personal opinion, is that if this was a rack of dynamite, it will not explode in a single blast. A primary explosion will first occur which will send several sticks of dynamite flying in several directions and then you will have many secondary explosions. It will be a rolling explosion. The signature of such a blast will be different with houses about 500m away burning and you will have smaller craters all around marking points where dynamite sticks landed. You won’t see this clean, conical, radial blast with diminishing,. outwardly radiating destruction patterns. I think the authorities will still tell us more about it. It is less likely that a rack of mining explosives caused this damage.

“Let’s now wait till an expert opinion throws this out – and I hope it gets thrown out!”

Minister visits University College Hospital, Ibadan, empathises with blast victims

The Minister of State for Health and Social Welfare, Dr Tunji Alausa, yesterday visited the University College Hospital (UCH), Ibadan, to see victims of the Ibadan explosion.

The minister and members of UCH management, led by the Chief Medical Director, Prof. Jesse Otegbayo toured the hospital to assess the impact of the explosion.

He confirmed that 17 victims were “brought in alive, 10 among them have been treated and discharged.”

“I have seen the remaining seven; they are doing so well. I asked them how the care has been and they said they are getting excellent care.

“I am very happy for that and I am sure that the president will also be very happy about that,” Alausa said at the end of the tour.

He said he was an emissary of President Bola Tinubu who has empathy for the victims and the determination to improve health care delivery.

Alausa commended UCH for the comprehensive attention paid to victims in its care.

He said the second reason for his visit was to assess structures affected by the explosion in the hospital.

He pledged that the ministry would assist UCH to repair some of the damaged structures.

“The Chief Medical Director has assured that the hospital’s engineering team will conduct integrity tests to arrive at the state of impacted structures and needed intervention.

“We want to ensure that patients, staff and visitors are safe in the hospital,” Alausa stressed.

Earlier, Otegbayo remarked that repair of the damaged structures had already started before the minister’s visit.

“The repairs had started, especially at the areas where the glasses shattered. We wanted the minister to see the effect; we hope to continue with the repairs as we await the promise made by the minister.

“The patients are doing very well. The state government is picking their bills,” Otegbayo said.

No fewer than five persons were reported to have died and 77 others injured when the explosion occurred at Bodija, a residential area adjacent to UCH.

PFN president visits explosion site

President of the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria, Bishop Francis Wale Oke, has lamented the devastating impacts of the explosion.

Bishop Oke who paid a visit to Adeyi Street, Bodija, Ibadan where the tragedy occurred, expressed grief over the level of devastation.

On ground to receive the PFN President were the Incident Manager, Prof. Temitope Alonge, Commissioner for Health, Oluwaserimi Ajetunmobi; Special Adviser to Governor Seyi Makinde on Security Matters, Fatai Owoseni; and a Director of the Federal Road Safety Commission coordinating the recovery efforts.

The clergyman, who is the Presiding Bishop of Sword of The Spirit Ministries, described the incident as extremely sad and grievous, praying that God may heal the wounds of the affected residents and give the state government the wisdom, courage and resources to address the situation.

The PFN scribe, accompanied to the epicenter of the blast by the Presiding Bishop of Victory International Church Worldwide, Bishop Taiwo Adelakun; and many other pastors in the PFN, stated that in all things, it is just and good to give thanks to God. He stressed that in good times and bad times, all humans must acknowledge the mightiness of the creator.

Gani Adams condemns Ibadan explosion, urges Makinde to bring culprits to book

The Aare Ona Kakanfo of Yoruba land,Iba Gani Adams condemned the explosion in Ibadan and urged Governor Makinde to bring the culprits to book.

Iba Adams, who described the incident as very unfortunate said the best thing the state government could do to unravel the perpetrators is to investigate the incident and bring the culprits to book.

“As far as I am concerned, the story of the Ibadan explosion has left many questions hanging in the balance. It was a security threat to the state, that is why it is important for Governor Seyi Makinde to fish out those behind the incident and bring them to book,” he said in a statement by his spokesman, Kehinde Aderemi.

“It is very unfortunate that the death toll is rising by the day and victims of the unfortunate incident are in the various hospitals recuperating.

“The extent of the damage in the area was great involving many houses. And going by the statement and assurances of the governor, I think a case of such multiple damages should not be treated with levity. Ibadan is the political headquarters of the Southwest region and anything that affects Ibadan naturally has a spiral effect on other states in the south west.

“So, the Oyo state government should leave no stone unturned by making sure that perpetrators of the dastardly act didn’t go scot-free.”

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Lagos Agog As Olusegun Aderiye Marks 70th Birthday Anniversary In Style

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The mega city of Lagos was thrown into celebration mood as an Erudite Scholar and a quintessential broadcast journalist Rev. Dr. Olusegun Aderiye celebrated his 70th PLATINUM jubilee anniversary and book launch in style.

The event which took place on Wednesday February 14th 2024 at Airport Ikeja Lagos stated with a Public Lecture titled, “The Imperative of Peace in a Troubled World” taken by Amb. (Dr) Martins Uhomoibhi (Fmr PS, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Nigeria) and the formal unveiling of: “Journey to Stardom” An Autobiography of the celebrant.

Rev Dr. Olusegun Solomon Aderiye was born on 14 February in Ekiti State, then Western Region, Nigeria.

He attended Methodist Primary School, Apaara, Oyo, 1958, Ifaki Grammar School, 1968-72, University of Lagos, 1977 and University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University) 1981.

Olusegun was the Chief State House Correspondent, Nigerian Television Authority, 1985-89; Head, Current Affairs Department, African Independent Television, since 1998; Secretary, Nigerian Television Authority Ibadan Chapel.

He was a co-author of ECOMOG, Gabumo Publishing, Lagos in 1992.

Dr. Aderiye Creative Works includes Kilo Ndan Bi Wura, 1978, Awamaridi, 1979, Maje Nse 1981, My Lord is Good, 1983, What only God can do, 2023.

His National Awards are Nigeria Television Authority’s Reporter of the Year, 1983 and Nigeria Union of Journalists, since 1978.

 

The special guest of honour of the event was General Ibrahim Babangida GCFR (Former President of Nigeria) and Chief Bode George (Former Military Governor of Ondo State).

Dignitaries present at the event were Lagos state Governor ably represented by his commissioner of information and strategy Gbenga Omotoso, Speaker, Lagos State House of representative represented by one of the honourable members of the house, Steve Ogundipe.

Others were (Dr) Martin Uhomoibhi. Amb (Dr) Yemi Farounbi, Nigeria’s former Ambassador to the Philippines. The event was indeed an array of who is who in Nigeria.

 

The chairman in his remark describes the celebrant as a fine gentleman and a highly efficient, courageous and diligent media practitioner with a high sense of national patriotism and an unrepentant nationalist in broadcast journalism.

He prayed that God Almighty should continue to shower Dr. Aderiye with divine wisdom, guidance, good health, protection, prosperity and longevity, so he could continue to contribute his quota to national development in the years ahead.

Dr. Aderiye in his speech appreciates his lovely wife who shared the same birthday with him Deaconess Mary Kehinde Oluwakemi and family, friends, colleagues, acquaintances both in the physical and spiritual realms for their love, friendship and kind support all through these years.

He also thanks the VIPs, relations, friends and acquaintances who have come to honour his invitation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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London Operation: Air Peace, Norse Atlantic Sign ACMI Agreement On Charter

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Norse Atlantic Airways, yesterday, announced that it entered into an agreement with Air Peace for an ACMI (Aircraft, Crew, Maintenance, and Insurance) charter service.

This collaboration, according to the statement made available to LEADERSHIP, marks the beginning of a strategic partnership aimed at providing seamless air travel solutions between London and Lagos, Nigeria.

Commencing in April 2024, the ACMI charter will operate four times a week, offering travellers convenient and reliable transportation options between these key destinations.

Norse Atlantic Airways will be using slots at London Gatwick allocated to Air Peace to facilitate this new route.

“We are thrilled to be working with Air Peace to launch this ACMI charter service between London Gatwick and Lagos. This collaboration represents an exciting opportunity to leverage our expertise in charter operations to deliver a reliable and high-quality service to Air Peace and their customers,” said Bjørn Tore Larsen, CEO and Founder of Norse Atlantic Airways.

“Air Peace is delighted to have signed this partnership deal with Norse Atlantic Airways for the commencement of our London service. As we make a foray into the European market, we are confident that this strategic partnership will further position us to surpass the expectations of our customers, offering them superior air travel experience while we continue to optimise our operations for more innovative service delivery”, stated Allen Onyema, Chairman/CEO, Air Peace.

Norse Atlantic and Air Peace will continue to discuss potential longer-term partnerships between the two airlines to explore avenues for further collaboration and expansion in the future.

 

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N30bn To Govs: ‘My Statement Unverified’, Akpabio Recants

“The President of the Senate recognizes and appreciates the current efforts of the governors at ameliorating the adverse effects of the current inclement socio-economic environment and therefore invites more hands on the plow to complement the renewed hope agenda.”

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President of the Senate, Senator Godswill Akpabio, has recanted his claim that state governors received an additional N30 billion from the Federal Government to address the biting economic hardship in the country by the distribution of palliatives to Nigerians.

Recall that Akpabio made the claim on Wednesday, February 22 while the Senate considered the report of its joint Committees on Finance, Agriculture/Food Sufficiency, Banking and Insurance.

The committee had interfaced with the economic management team of the government, led by the Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Mr Wale Edun, to find out what the government had done to tackle hunger, food inflation, a free-falling naira exchange rate to the US dollar, among others.

In the course of deliberations on the matter by senators, Akpabio had repeatedly stated without mincing word that each state governor received an additional N30bn from the centre to address the challenges, besides the regular allocations the states draw from the Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC).

“Each of the 36 states received N30bn; they received N30bn”, he kept saying.

However, 24 hours later, governors began refuting the claim.

Prominent among them was the Governor of Akpabio’s own state, Akwa Ibom, Pastor Umo Eno, who not only said such an amount was not received by the state but also added that it was possible the Senate President was speaking with prophetic expectations.

Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State also said much, dismissing Akpabio’s claim.

On Monday night, Akpabio’s office finally summoned the courage to recant his statement, saying that he acted on unverified information.

His Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Hon. Eseme Eyiboh, in a statement on Monday night, appealed for calm, saying that Akpabio held the governors in high esteem.

Eyiboh’s full statement is reproduced below: “The office of the President of the Senate has been drawn to various misconceptions in the public domain on the statement credited to the President of the Senate in plenary of Wednesday, February 21, 2024, during the presentation of a report of the joint Committees on Finance, Agriculture/Food Sufficiency, Banking and Insurance. During the session the President of the Senate commented on the payment of an unverified cumulative sum of about N30b to the sub-national governments by the Federal Government for various interventions to ameliorate the food situation of our citizens at the sub-national governments.

“The unfortunate conjectures to take away the kernel in the material facts of FAAC payment are rather regretted. In considering the well-intended motive of urging state governments to collaborate with the Federal government of President Bola Tinubu to facilitate strategic interventions to mitigate the prevailing economic situation in the country remains the underpinning motivation in the comment.

“The President of the Senate is not oblivious to the fact that State governments are functional partners in all the efforts of the current administration of President Bola Tinubu and are also valuable Stakeholders’ in the various legislative engagements of the legislature in creating the nexus between the legislature and the people.

“The President of the Senate has always demonstrated commitment to team building and shall not do less in the circumstance. He therefore urges the sub-national governments not to be distracted by any misunderstanding of the context and true meaning of the statement.

“The President of the Senate recognizes and appreciates the current efforts of the governors at ameliorating the adverse effects of the current inclement socio-economic environment and therefore invites more hands on the plow to complement the renewed hope agenda.”

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