There was pandemonium in Ado-Ekiti, the Ekiti State capital on Saturday as a substance suspected to be bomb exploded inside the Old government secretariat.
The explosion which it sound effects reverberated as far as Okesa, Okeyinmi, Irona and Ilawe, Bashiri road, occurred at the Ordinance Explosive Disposal Department (EoD) of the Ekiti police command situated within the premises of the secretariat popularly called old governor’s office.
However, there were no casualties from the explosion.
Tribune Online gathered that the explosion occurred at about 7:30 am and affected offices in the Ministry of local government and chieftains affairs.
Also, the state Boundary Commission, Directorate of the Information and Communication Center, of the Director of Finance and Administration and the council chambers of the state traditional rulers were badly damaged from the explosion.
The bungalow apartment of the EoD office was turned into rubbles while the adjoining offices that housed the office of the Nigerian Union of Journalists, Correspondents’ chapel, Ekiti chapter was badly affected.
All the offices around the area were affected, with their louvre blades and glasses shattered to pieces while the asbestos and Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) ceiling, doors and windscreen of vehicles parked around the offices were forcefully removed and scattered.
The chairman of the Ekiti State Council of Traditional Rulers and Alawe of Ilawe, Oba Adebanji Ajibade Alabi, visited the scene to inspect the damaged done on the council chambers and other offices.
Speaking with Tribune Online, a night guard in the ministry who did not want his name in print noted there were no casualties as a result of the explosion.
He said, “it was as if heaven wanted to collapse when I heard about the explosion this morning. You know we are night guards and I was the one on duty today. My brother, I could not move an inch when I heard about it and I laid down flat in my space here praying to God for safety. I thanked God nobody died in this incident.”
A civil servant, who gave her name as Tope Adeola said the incident would have been devastating if the explosion occurred during work hours, saying, “it is really sad to see the effect of the explosion in our offices here and we can only thank God it did not happen yesterday (Friday) when everybody is in the office here.
Speaking, the Chairman of the Correspondents’ Chapel, Victor Ogunje, he lamented the effect of the explosion particularly on the office of the journalists. He advised the commissioner of Police to begin the process of moving the EoD office away from the premises of the secretariat.
“I am particularly saddened with the situation. I was called at about 8 am by a colleague to see things for myself here. As you can see that our office is shattered and other offices in the secretariat.
“I want to share the view of the governor that this EoD office ought not to have been situated inside this area and I want to advise the commissioner of Police to do something very urgently by moving the office from this place.
“It will have been devastating if this incident happened during working hours because it really touched major offices here.”
Confirming the incident,the Police Public Relations Officer, ASP Sunday Abutu said the explosion was as a result of the malfunctioning of demolition equipment in the office.
According to him, “today being 8/02/2020 at about 0730hrs, an explosion occurred at the Anti-Bomb Unit building inside the old Government House Ado-Ekiti.
“The explosion may have been due to a malfunction in one of the demolition accessories of the Anti-Bomb Unit.
“In the process, the Anti-Bomb Unit building got destroyed and some few parts of the buildings around. There was no casualty and peace has since been restored to the area.
“The commissioner of police, CP Amba Asuquo, and a team of Anti-Bomb specialists are fully on the ground to access the real cause of the incident and the extent of the damage. The Commissioner urges the public to remain calm and go about their lawful business.”
As of 10.00 am, the Police Commissioner and officers of the anti-bomb squad were seen removing some of the explosive materials in the area.
Governor Kayode Fayemi, the deputy governor, Chief Bisi Egbeyemi, commissioner for information, Mr Muyiwa Olumilua, his counterpart in the local government affairs, Professor Adio Afolayan, and other members of the State Executive Council also visited the site of the explosion.
While speaking at the scene, Fayemi said the EoD office shouldn’t have been located in the area, saying, “it ought to be in a far distance.
In a statement signed by the commissioner for information, Olumilua on behalf of the state government shortly after the incident, he said: “An explosion was reported earlier this morning at the Explosives Ordnance Disposal (EOD) office in Ado Ekiti.
“An initial on-the-spot assessment confirms that there are no casualties and the area is secured with no further threats.
“Members of the public are advised to go about their normal duties,” the statement said.
The CP while addressing newsmen at the scene, added that he suspected that the explosion was caused by counter-terrorism accessories kept in the office.
He said: “Let my men from anti-bomb department check around. Officers of the anti-bomb are combing the place as you can see.
“This is the office where they keep detonation accessories. The explosion must have been caused by equipment kept in their stock house.
“The area has been cordoned off. We are going to devise means of ensuring improvement in the stocking of these equipment next time.
“We are happy that there is no loss of life, no casualty. Some of these devices are used to detect bomb and to detonate it. Some of them used to detonate on their own and that must have caused the explosion.”Read Full Story