Explosion: Makinde Signs Order on Safe Handling of Harmful Substances

Kemi Olaitan in Ibadan

Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State, yesterday, signed Executive Order 001 of 2024 on the safe handling of harmful substances.

Makinde,  while signing the order in in Ibadan, said: “We are signing the Executive Order 001 of 2024, and this is on the safe handling and storage of harmful substances within Oyo State.

“We are doing this in light of the unfortunate incident at Bodija, where explosives were stored in a residential area. So, dated today, 31st of January 2024, we have the Executive Order, which is now a law in the state.”

The event had in attendance the Deputy Governor, Barr. Bayo Lawal; Secretary to the State Government, Prof. Olanike Adeyemo; Chief of Staff, Hon. Segun Ogunwuyi; and the Commissioner for Justice/Attorney-General, Barr. Biodun Aikomo.

Following the signing of the order, the governor and his entourage proceeded to Ground Zero, the site of the incident, where he monitored the progress of work.

The governor, who addressed journalists at the site, declared that there is now a law in place to guide the handling of harmful substances in the state, stressing that the state government is taking all necessary action to prevent a recurrence of the January 16 explosion in the state.

He said the structural integrity tests on buildings around the site had been concluded, adding that the state government would officially receive the report next week.

The governor revealed that on the medical side, most patients have already been discharged with only one person awaiting surgery.

The governor clarified that the incident was not a terrorist attack as some people were insinuating, noting that it occurred because some individuals stored explosives in a residential area.

He declared that with the Executive Order 001 on Safe Handling of Harmful Substances, a recurrence of such incident would be prevented, as there would be zero tolerance for those who break the law.

He said:“We have scheduled an expanded meeting for Tuesday. After that meeting, we should be in the position to lay out what next step we are going to take to launch out.”

Also, speaking with newsmen, the Attorney-General, Barrister Aikomo, maintained that the law is not necessarily about explosives, as that is on the exclusive legislative list, but that there are many other harmful substances.

He said: “If you store gas in a way that is irresponsible and can make heat trigger an explosion, it becomes harmful and would have the same dangerous consequences that are negative to human existence.

“So, what this Order has done is to say that the government, not being super-human, cannot know what people have stored in their respective homes. And it is to say, any company or individual that has harmful substances stored in residential houses should notify the state government.

“And this obligation takes effect immediately and they are required to report within 72 hours to the Special Adviser to the Governor on Security.“

After that, the Special Adviser will arrange for evacuation in a very safe and decent manner, working with other law enforcement agencies.

“Going forward, anybody who has harmful substances in Oyo State, it does not matter if you have a licence to hold it, you have a duty to notify the Special Adviser to the governor so that we are sure you are not endangering the lives of other people around you.

“And this will be on until the governor revokes the Executive Order.”

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