March 4, 2024

Bodija Estate Residents Association (BERA) on Wednesday in Ibadan said no fewer than 10 people were still missing following the Jan. 17 explosion in the area.

“I think it is now more towards eight and nine persons now, or even 10, whom those in the neighbourhood have talked about,” the Association’s President, Mr Muyiwa Bamgbose, said after their consultative meeting.

“We took the map of the street to them (government) and tried to account for (people) house by house to get accurate information.

“If the person was seen yesterday and was not seen today or you can’t find him again, then you need to get worried. But I believe it’s nearer 10 now,” he added.

BERA, an umbrella body of all communities in Bodija, also called for massive assistance for victims of the explosion to get back their lives.

It pointed out the need for continuous care and support for victims whose lives have changed unexpectedly since the incident.

The president said there were a lot of people who paid for their medical bills out of pocket and did not go to the designated hospitals.

“I must also confess that some hospitals, like Redeemers Clinic, were treating victims free of charge without keeping records.

“The hospitals contributed by treating people without asking for money, and some people who could afford it took themselves to their private hospitals,” Bamgbose said.

He however lamented improper organisation for victims in accessing hotel accommodation the government said it provided.

“We fear that government may end up being shortchanged. Yes, it was a chaotic situation but there should be some kind of order.

“Yes, this is the first in Ibadan and I must commend the government’s willingness and response. But there is a difference between being willing and then having the ability.

“People have worked overnight without sleeping. Even the Federal Government has taken the issue seriously as all its security apparatus were deployed.

“Then, the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has been working with its Oyo state counterpart. Everybody has collaborated but our best is still short of the word best,” Bamgbose said.

While commending the efforts of the Federal and Oyo State Governments, Bamgbose noted the need to learn from the explosion to better prepare for emergency operations.

(NAN)

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