FEC set up committee to review laws on explosives

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By Mathew Dadiya

The Federal Executive Council (FEC) has constituted a committee to review the laws guiding the control of explosives in the country to determine whether they were violated by illegal miners whose activities led to Tuesday’s deadly explosion in Ibadan, Oyo State.

The explosion killed two persons and wounded about 80 others. It also destroyed several buildings, vehicles, and other properties.

Minister of Defense, Mohammed Badaru, who made the disclosure while addressing State House Correspondents after FEC chaired by President Bola Tinubu at Council Chambers, Presidential Villa, Abuja.

Badaru said the committee is made up of all the security agencies, the Minister of Environment, Ministry of Solid Minerals.

According to the minister, the Council expressed concerns about the incident and the need to prevent similar incidents in the future.

Speaking on council’s deliberations, the minister said: “In today’s deliberation, the explosion in Ibadan was raised and the government sympathised with the victims and the very good people of Oyo State; and currently investigation is ongoing to find out the real cause of the blast and to see how best we can prevent it happening in the future.

“After that, there is the issue of environmental protection as well as mining, areas protection and forest protection were discussed and a committee was set by Mr. President.

“That includes all the security agencies, the Minister of Environment, Ministry of solid minerals to look into all these issues, and see how we can provide lasting solutions to stop the issues that centre around environmental degradation both in our forests and the mining sites. And also the rampant illegal mining and the control of earthing in the mining sector.”

Reacting to Governor Seye Makinde’s revelation that the explosion was caused by explosives stored by illegal ministers, the minister noted that there was also suspicion in some quarters that it might have been a gas explosion.

He noted that federal agents were now on ground at the scene of the incident to ascertain the cause and ways to prevent future occurrence.

“The first question has to do with the Ibadan explosion where the governor said that preliminary investigation suggested that there are some explosives around the area where it happened that are owned by some illegal miners.

“Well, we have seen that report. There is another report suggesting that it was a gas explosion. So, our team is there trying to find out what is the cause.

“But for the council to be proactive, it has already set up the committee that I told you to look into how the control of explosives law was broken if indeed there are explosives around the area where this incident happened.

“That was why the committee was set up to look at the rules to see where the chain is broken and see how it can be fixed and gather more information if this is happening rampantly around the country.

“You all know that there is a strict rule in the storage, movement and ownership of these explosives and the rule is being monitored. If there is any case of breakdown, we will find out and deal with it”, he said.