January 17, 2024

Ibadan Explosion: Reps to pass bill on community policing  

foereign help to fight insecurity

By Gift ChapiOdekina, Abuja

The Chairman, House of Representatives’ Committee on ICT, Hon. Stanley Olajide, reiterated on Wednesday the 10th Assembly’s resolve towards the passage of bills on state policing as part of ongoing efforts aimed at tackling the ravaging insecurity across the country.

Hon. Olajide, member representing Ibadan North West/South West of Oyo State, who gave the assurance during a press briefing held at the National Assembly complex, Abuja, commiserated with Oyo State Government and families of victims of the explosion that occurred in Ibadan on Tuesday night.

He said, “Community policing is one of the smartest ways to police your people. somebody sees something somebody knows something, they need to speak at the right time.

“Failure to do so will cause situation like this. So, we are going to reopen that because, remember, we’ve also been talking about state police; we’ll be talking about community police.

“So, I think you know situations like this would present an urgency to the matter so that that way we can get the right support that we need to pass whatever legislation that we need to pass for this.

“So definitely, we’re going to pick this up, and it’s going to be on the front burner of the activities of the House as soon as we reconvene as a House.”

While reacting to the Tuesday explosion, Hon. Olajide, who applauded the prompt intervention of Governor Seyi Makinde and all the first responders, noted efforts are ongoing to nip the situation on the board.

He said, “We woke up to a very horrific situation in Ibadan, which happened around 8 p.m. last night. Information gathered so far comes from the office of the Governor of Oyo State, whom I must also commend immensely for his rapid response to the situation.

“The dynamite or explosive detonated; we do understand the loss of lives. I do not want to speculate on the number of lives yet because I don’t have those firm numbers yet. But we do know that there are casualties.

“From the Office of the Governor, we also understand that a lot of people are in the hospitals receiving treatment, and the Governor has made commitments to make sure that everybody is taken care of to get the first-class medical treatment that they deserve and are going to get.

“Also, let me say very clearly that I want to commend the first responders, NEMA, the police, DSS, and all the emergency responders that have responded to this urgent call.

“At this point, that area remains a crime scene, which means we have to work with law enforcement to preserve the integrity of that area. I was going to go there this morning, but I was advised against it because going there will also be part of the problem if we go there while the whole area has been cordoned off, so to go there right now, we could polarise the area, and we don’t want to play politics with the lives of our people.

“So, at this point, we’ll let the first responders and all of the security and medical agencies on rescue missions go through their work. And then we’ll now go there with our people and also offer the relief materials because when you have a situation like this.

“And also, let me say this: I have spoken to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Honourable Tajudeen Abass. He has also offered his condolences to the people of Ibadan and Oyo State at large. And he has mandated that I also go ahead and do more fact-finding and present that to him at the end of today.

“So that we can figure out what kind of material is needed for our people so that we can actually come up with some kind of relief for our people.

“It’s unfortunate, but the information that we got is that one of these illegal miners had this explosive in a residential area, which eventually caused this disaster. But we will find out more information.”

In a bid to unravel the immediate and remote causes of the ugly incident, Hon. Olajide called on the Director General of the Department of State Security to conduct a thorough investigation into the incident.

“So, I’ve sent a message to the DG of DSS as well because I also want them to make sure that they also do a thorough investigation because it’s one too many. When you have a situation like this, you don’t want to ever have it repeat itself.

“So, we are also waiting for them because I also understand that DSS is on-site as well. So, in the message that I sent to the DG DSS, I’m also hoping for that. The police are already on the ground, as are all of the other people.

“So, I also want to thank you all for this emergency session where we are on holiday to have this morning many press media houses present to offer this kind of courage to our people.”

While commending Governor Makinde for his timely intervention to curtail the ugly incident, Hon. Olajide said, “Let me also use this opportunity to commend Governor Makinde to quickly actually nip this in the bud. Okay, yes, I find that credible information to even isolate these two illegal miners. I must commend him; he’s the Chief Security Officer of the State, and I’m sure he has security reports that are going to drive him.

“You can rest assured that we are going to look at that, and our hands will be on that. Part Two of my report to the Speaker will also be to recommend some of the short-term or long-term suggestions on how we’re going to tackle this. We’re in the preliminary stages.

“I don’t want us to put the cart before the horse; we are going to unravel so many things. There could be even more to all of this. So, let’s not act as if we know all the details yet. But based on the information we know today, we know that we have a lot of work to do.

“We are going to cooperate with the State Governor, and the House of Representatives will offer all the support needed so that we can move Nigeria forward and also for Nigeria to use what has happened in Ibadan as a lesson learned so that this will not happen anywhere in Nigeria.

“This also means the control of explosives; if you have this kind of explosive that could do this much damage, that means that this thing is relatively available in the hands of the wrong people. So, we also have to look at how these things are stored. And so we’re going to take a holistic approach to all of this.

“It’s not going to be one of those things that will be done in a hurry to just quickly come to. I sympathise with my people from your state; we ought to be specific. May Almighty Allah offer relief to the people who have lost their lives. You know, we will say special prayers for the people.

“I will get some of our clerics to arrange a special prayer, so that way, I’m promising relief materials are on the way, both personally and from the House of Representatives and the National Emergency as a whole. We will make sure that we provide for the needs of our people.”

On his part, Hon. Ademorin Kuye expressed condolences to the government of Oyo State and the families of the victims.

He said, “I just want to once again join my colleagues to commiserate with the people who have lost a lot in this act of criminality by illegal miners. And I particularly have to come because Ibadan is like my second home. I studied in Ibadan when it was in Oyo State.

“I just want to further reiterate the position of my colleague that there is a need for fiscal federalism, and that can lead quickly to having state police. I believe that the president that we have is campaigning based on these promises, and I know that he’s going to work with the National Assembly to ensure that we have state police very, very soon.”