December 5, 2022

ABULE ADO EXPLOSION: Three years after, govt yet to fulfil promises – Gani Adams, community leaders

By Nnamdi Ojiego

Nearly three years after a devastating explosion rocked Soba community, Abule Ado in Amowu Odofin Local Government Area of Lagos State, the government is yet to fulfil any of the promises it made to the people, according to the leaders of the community.

Recall that on Sunday, March 15, 2020, the state, and indeed, the entire nation, were thrown into mourning as a result of the tragic incident.

The Director-General, Lagos State Emergency Management Agency, LASEMA, Dr. Oluwafemi Damilola, had given the statistics of the effects of the explosion as follows: “276 people were displaced while 268 students were affected. 70 people were rescued, 23 dead bodies recovered and 25 injured persons were identified. 170 houses were affected out of which 93 were mild, 44 moderate while 33 were severe. Also, 40 cars and three articulated vehicles were destroyed. Three churches, seven schools including Bethlehem Girls’College, one hotel and one shopping complex were affected.”

A member of the committee set up by the Lagos State government on the incident and Vice Chairman of Amowu Odofin LGA, Hon. Segun Idris, had disclosed during the first memorial anniversary ceremony that the government has commenced construction of an access road in the area while modalities were being worked out for other infrastructure promised.

Idris said: “Through this committee, government has decided to build a fire service station, water cooperation, health center, a LASTMA post, and a town hall for community activities among other things.

Access Roads
“Government is also constructing a befitting road across that community. The access road with a bridge would link Soba to Ijedodo, Ijegun and Ikotun areas. Besides, there is also a plan for another access road from Soba to FESTAC Town. With that, those residing in those areas would not have to pass through the expressway to get home.

1000 Housing Units
“Plans are already underway to restructure and rebuild the area by bringing another fantastic housing scheme to the place. The state will build about 1000 housing units for the people there. Government is coming to redesign the area and make adjustments to accommodate the existing ones.”

But the Aare Onakakanfo of Yorubaland, Iba Gani Adams, and other leaders in the community, said the government was yet to fulfil any of the promises or build any project in the area.

Speaking at an event organised by the Soba Landlords and Residents Association, SLARA, held at the site of former Bethlehem Girls College, on Sunday, to unveil a memorial plaque in honour of the deceased victims of the explosion, Adams called on the government to redeem their promises to the people.

The Aare, who is also the Chairman of the association, said the event was to ensure that memories of the incident; the lives lost, the losses incurred and the damage to the community, was not forgotten.

He added that it was also to remind the government of the promises made to the victims and urged them not to relent in fulfilling them.

According to him, it was unfortunate that the association had to resort to publicly reminding the government of its promises.

He noted that 23 people including the association’s former vice chairman, his wife and two children, died from the unfortunate incident, and over 300 houses were destroyed during the explosion.

“The governor was here, even the speaker of the house was here, some South-West governors were here and they made promises to those affected by the disaster that certain amount will be paid as compensation.

“We are using this opportunity to appeal to the LASG, as a state with honour to fulfill all promises made to the victims,” he said.

Also, the Vice Chairman of SLARA, Mr Philips Akinduro, said it was important to remember the memories of the victims by raising a plaque at the site of the explosion.

He explained that most of the development in the area done through communal efforts. According to him, the association spent over N15 million in 2022 to procure and install electric transformers, security, among others.

Akinduro however, urged government to help improve the lives of the members of the community by fulfilling its promises to the people.