Some victims of the Bodija explosion in Ibadan, on Monday, told hard tales of their lives after the incident and how they have been coping with the new reality.
The victims, who live at Dejo Oyelese Street, the epicentre of the explosion, said in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on Monday in Ibadan that life has been challenging for them since the explosion.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that an explosion on January 16 rocked the Bodija area of Ibadan metropolis, with no fewer than five deaths recorded, 77 people sustaining injuries, and several houses being destroyed.
One of the victims, Olagoke Odia, who communicated with the help of his neighbour, said life had not been the same with him since the blast.
He stated that the house left for him and his brother by his parents was levelled by the explosion, adding that he had since been sleeping anywhere he could lay his head.
“I slept on the street last night because my brother told me that the government has asked us not to come back to where it provided for the victims, and we have stayed there for three days.
“We were told that another place located at Akobo has been provided for us, but I could not go there because it is far from Bodija, where I stay, as it will cost me N1,000 to and fro,” Odia said.
Another victim, Mr Taiwo Salami, stated that his life and that of his family had never been the same again, as they had to squat with his brother because his house had been damaged by the explosion.
Salami said that his wife, who was badly injured due to the blast, had just left the hospital.
“My wife was injured because the burglar-proof got removed from the window and pinned her to the wall, thus rendering her completely unconscious. We didn’t even know that she was bleeding from her leg.
“My daughter was on the bed when the whole ceiling just collapsed on her, and she had to find her way out of the debris. She looked for her mum and dragged her out.
“There were broken glasses everywhere, but they didn’t even care when they came out of the debris, as everything had been blown off.
“The car had been damaged, and she could not drive it. She dragged her mom down the road and was looking for anybody who could help take her to the hospital,” Salami said.
He said that his business outlet was also damaged along with his house, adding that life had been extremely difficult for him and his family.
“You were already used to your comfort zone, but now you have to be squatting. You don’t know where your belongings are. It is a very terrible situation.
“Life is extremely difficult, especially for the older ones who have lived in their houses for 40 to 50 years. Where are they going to go now?
“It is also devastating for the younger ones, as they have been mentally traumatised by the incident.
“They have not been able to go to school for a couple of days now, and for me, I don’t know where my drugs are. I have to buy new ones, new cosmetics, and new clothes.
Other victims: Mrs Bisi Olasope and Chief Dayo Morakinyo, both residents of Dejo Oyelese Street, and Mr Rauf Isola, of Awosika Avenue, recounted their experiences, which they described as devastating.
They called on the government to be sincere with the integrity test set to be conducted on the houses around the area so that they would not further lose their property.
The residents also appealed for the government’s continuous support so that people could be able to pick up the pieces of their lives and stabilise.