The suspected owner of the building housing explosives which caused the explosion that rocked Ibadan two weeks ago, Alhaji Sawane Youssouf, has said he neither owned nor rented the house in question for any activity.
Youssouf, in a statement he personally signed, titled, ‘Bodija Explosion: My Own Side of the Story,’ which was made available to newsmen in Ibadan, on Wednesday, said though the incident was unfortunate, his activities as a miner were legal.
Recall that Oyo State Governor, Engr Seyi Makinde, had while giving an update, linked the explosion to the activities of a Malian suspected to be carrying out illegal mining activities in the state.
Youssouf who is a Malian miner, commiserated with victims of the incident and the Oyo State Government, denying the ownership of the building where the explosives were allegedly stockpiled.
“I felt the need to, once again, state my own side of the story to clear the minds of the public about my alleged involvement in the sad occurrence.
“Insinuations are rife that I am the owner of the Ground Zero building where the explosives that led to the explosion were stockpiled and warehoused, prior to the incident.
“It is against the above that I categorically state and declare here again now that I am not the owner of the building and explosives in question.
“While it is true that l am into mining in Oyo State, all my activities are legal, in accordance with the provisions of the Nigerian Constitution,” he said.
The Malian added that though he resides in Ibadan, he had never rented or owned a house at Dejo Oyelese close, Bodija, where the incident happened.
“I also don’t have anything to do with the explosives that led to the huge loss of human lives and the collateral destruction of property at the scene of the incident.
“I am using this medium to appeal to the Oyo State Government, security agencies and other appropriate authorities to beam their searchlight further to reveal the identity of the real owners of the building and the explosives that led to the explosion of January, 16,” he stated.
Youssouf promised to make himself available whenever he is needed to assist security agencies in the course of further investigation into the sad incident.