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Bodija Explosion: Residents Deserve Better Explanations, Victims Should Be Compensated | Kazeem Olalekan Israel

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As much as one must refrain from giving any form of political colouration to the explosion at Bodija which claimed lives, displaced persons and destroy properties, the media almajiris of the Governor must come to terms with the fact that the criticism of the statement which was uttered by the Governor at the scene of the blast is being done out of good faith.

Praise singers of the Governor are already everywhere issuing misleading views in order to exonerate the Governor of the tragic incident, gaslighting those of us who dare to query the explanations offered by Governor Seyi Makinde. But, citizens indeed should query the Governor, and not accept his explanations hook, line and sinker without raising fundamental questions. At least, we are all stakeholders as far as the State is concerned. In fact, we the citizens are a major stakeholder.

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Even, one of them, out of being seen as being patriotic to the Governor suggested I am being bankrolled by someone somewhere and he was even raising an issue of me being gagged. It shows the level of intolerance deposited in some of those painting themselves as loyalists of the Governor. They are simply trying to curry favour from the government.

It is important to reiterate that the bulk falls on the table of the Governor as far as security of lives and properties is concerned. And, considering the fact that political position is not puritanical, it is not improper to blame the Governor for the blast. It shows criminal conspiracy.

And, in response to the statement of the Governor that “if you see something, say something”. Beyond the fact that those living in the immediate surrounding of the blast already claimed that they have raised alarm a number of time as regards the activities of this illegal miner without nothing being done, it is important to state that there is no proper whistleblower protection for people who expose ills in the society.

As a matter of fact, the Police is the greatest repressor of whistleblowing. On principle, it is a correct perspective. However, the institution promoting this slogan is one that has undermined this same slogan in past years. The institution is inimical to the driving of that slogan. It is just like an armed robber saying if you see someone stealing, say something.

Take it or leave it, the conclusion of the Governor that the explosion is linked to the “importation” of explosives to that property is too hasty. Even if we are to flow with the narrative of the Governor, how sure are we that the bombing was not deliberately done by this illegal miner upon detecting a mineral resource in that vicinity? This is why it is important for a thorough, open and credible investigation to be done. And, as against the narrative being spinned by the illegal miner that his company is registered. It is a total deviation from the issue at hand. Why must explosives be stored or stockpiled or imported into a residential area? So, only a thorough investigation can give a reliable insight into the cause of the disaster.

This being said, the government must make provision for humanitarian assistance for those affected by the blast most especially those whose properties were displaced.

Kazeem Olalekan Israel (GANI)
Ìbàdàn, Nigeria.

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