Democratic Socialist Movement

For Struggle, Solidarity and Socialism in Nigeria

By - DSM

IBADAN EXPLOSION: SPN Sympathizes with Victims and Calls for Democratic Investigation and Adequate Compensation to Victims

The Socialist Party of Nigeria, SPN, Oyo State Chapter, sympathizes with the victims, and their relatives, of the unfortunate explosion that  rocked the city of Ibadan, the capital of Oyo State around 7pm on Tuesday, 16th January, 2024.

This explosion was quite unfortunate given the magnitude of its devastating impact on the lives and properties around and outside the immediate perimeter where it occurred. Not fewer than three lives have been reportedly lost and several people injured. Different categories of properties which include shopping mall, hotels, banks, eatery and residential buildings worth billions of Naira were also terribly damaged. Media reports also  have it that people and properties around Sango, Eleyele, Ologuneru, Apete and many other areas which are as far as 25km from the scene of the incident  were also affected both physically and psychologically.

It is in consideration of this background that we fault the  commentary and conclusion on the  cause credited to  Engr Seyi Makinde, the Oyo State Governor.  It is too hasty for the Governor  to have pinned the cause of the explosion to the alleged activities of illegal miners  without any open and credible investigation, especially while nothing can be ruled out. As far as we are concerned, only democratic and scientific investigation can provide a reliable insight into what caused the disaster. These are the basis for our call for an independent and democratic investigation into the  cause of the explosion including the extent and gravity of its impact.

This should also include  effort to identify and compile a list of individuals near and far beyond the immediate perimeter of the incident  who are affected. This is  to ensure that  adequate humanitarian aid and succor are provided for all victims without any form of discrimination and bias. Except this is done, there is a danger that the humanitarian provision will only be limited and restricted  to victims who have connections with people in government either at the state or federal level while others without such privilege are likely to suffer neglect.

Unfortunately, given the pro-capitalist and corrupt character of the Makinde-led government in the state, we are strongly in doubt if it can ever be entrusted with this kind of responsibility. Nigeria has a sordid history of this sort of probe not leading to any serious outcome when left alone to the government. It is in  light of this that we call on the leadership of trade unions like the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), the Trade Union Congress (TUC) and ASUU, civil societies like the Joint Action Front (JAF), religious groups including community organizations in the state to commence the process of carrying out an independent investigation into the cause and extent of the impact of the explosion including a full compilation of the list of victims with a view to demand adequate compensation and immediate humanitarian aid for victims and be ready to organize the victims in case there is a need to stage  mass actions for justice.

Ayodeji Adigun
SPN State Secretary

E-mail: [email protected]