A motorist, who witnessed the explosion that occurred on the Akure-Owo Expressway in Ilu Abo town in the Akure North Local Government Area of Ondo State, Mr Richard Solomon, has said he and his motor assistant escaped death because they heeded police warnings.
The explosion, which occurred around 1am on Saturday, destroyed many houses, schools and churches, and cut off the expressway, and left several people injured.
According to the police, the incident was caused by a vehicle conveying explosive devices to Edo State. Speaking with our correspondent, on Sunday at the University of Medical Sciences Teaching Hospital, Akure, Solomon said the incident was mysterious.
The 36-year-old truck driver explained that he and his assistant, Jackson Abdullahi, were coming from Jos, Plateau State, and as they were approaching the blast point, they met some riot policemen, who informed them of the danger ahead and warned them not to proceed with the journey.
He stated, “We were coming from Jos, Plateau State. We were conveying some goods to Ogun State and a few metres to the blast spot, a riot policeman flagged us down and told us that there was danger ahead and that we should not move further. “I then parked the vehicle by the roadside. We sat inside the vehicle and suddenly, we heard a very loud sound and saw fire in the sky and everywhere turned bright as if we were in daytime. “As we sat down inside the truck, watching what was going on, an object from nowhere flew into our vehicle and cut the leg of my motor assistant.
“Yet, we did not move from the spot. We were a bit confused; we didn’t know what to do; my boy’s leg was bleeding. The blast spot was like half a kilometre to where we were. After the explosion, policemen came to meet us and showed us an alternative route. I later drove the truck to the Shasha Market, Akure, and brought the boy to hospital.” Solomon, who was not hurt in the explosion, said he had been paying for the treatment of his assistant contrary to the promise of Governor Rotimi Akeredolu that the government would be responsible for the medical bills of all the victims. He, however, expressed optimism that the government would refund him.
Meanwhile, Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party Ondo state chapter through a statement by the South-West Zonal Publicity, Mr Ayo Fadaka, has called on the Federal Government to conduct a proper investigation into the incident in order to determine the actual cause of the explosion.