On Tuesday, January 16, 2024, an explosion in the Bodija area of Ibadan left residents in a state of panic and fellow Nigerians worried about what had happened.

During the early hours of the next day, Governor Seyi Makinde addressed citizens and revealed that the explosion was caused by explosive devices housed in some buildings by illegal miners. He confirmed 77 casualties and two deaths while urging residents to remain calm.

While the government is on top of the matter, we decided to ask some Ibadan residents about their experiences during and after the explosion.


I was preparing for an 8 p.m. virtual meeting but had to quickly use the restroom when I heard a faint sound. I thought it was from my neighbors in the flat above mine, so I just dismissed it. But my boyfriend was around, and he insisted that it sounded like an explosion or a quarry blast. We briefly argued about it before I got into my meeting. I finished at around 9 p.m. and returned to see so many missed calls on my phone. I went online and saw that there’d been an explosion in Bodija. Luckily, I stay in Akobo, quite a distance from Bodija. When I asked other people in Ibadan, they said they didn’t hear anything. I have a friend who just moved to Bodija. She told me her house was shaking, but that was about it.


I got a call from my friend in Lagos just as I was about to observe my night prayers. He bombarded me with questions about how I was doing and if everyone was fine, and it all felt confusing. When I asked what was going on, he mentioned the explosion in Bodija and that was the first I’d heard of it. I told him I’d call back because I realised at that moment that my wife wasn’t back home. Luckily, she walked in while I was calling her phone. I don’t think I’ve ever been so relieved to see anyone. She shared everything that had happened, and we just spent the night calling our friends and family to make sure everyone was alright.


My brother is a student in the University of Ibadan (UI). When I saw the incident trending on social media, I called him to ask how he was. He said the sound was deafening and the impact was massive despite it happening far from the school. He likened it to an earthquake. For someone who’s never experienced an earthquake to say that’s what it felt like, it must’ve truly moved the ground. On my end of Ibadan, around Palms Mall-Liberty road, we didn’t even hear a pin or feel any discomfort. The impact was mostly felt by the folks staying around UI, Agbowo, Bodija, Mokola and Sango.


I went to buy food around Bodija market. On my way back home, I heard this loud bang and trembling followed by a gust of wind and dust. There was instant pandemonium everywhere; people were screaming. For some minutes, I couldn’t open my eyes because sand and dust had covered my face. I just kept screaming, “Jesus, Jesus” until I could open my eyes slightly. I didn’t even bother to find out what had happened. I just joined other people to run. It took a while to realise that I wasn’t even on the road to our house. I got home and saw my mum, dad and siblings outside. Our neighbours had also come out of their houses to see what was going on. I cried when my dad asked what happened. It felt like my life flashed in front of my eyes.


I was in Zik Hall — a hostel on the University of Ibadan (UI) campus — when I heard the sound. I first thought it was a gas explosion from one of the hostels around because the blast sounded like it came from somewhere close. Lots of students came outside immediately after to see what was going on. There was complete confusion and shouting. It was only after a few minutes we heard it was from the Bodija General Mosque area, and the entire Sango was covered in smoke and dust. I got calls from my mum in Lagos. She was really worried even after I told her the explosion wasn’t in UI.


I was at work when this loud sound shook the entire building. I wasn’t sure what it was, but people outside assumed it was a gunshot and started running to safety. Immediately after I’d figured what was going on, I called my sister because our house is close to Bodija. She confirmed that the house shook at some point and particles from the ceiling had littered the house. Until around midnight, I was up taking calls from so many people who wanted to know I was safe, including my parents who live in a different part of Ibadan.


I moved out of the area where the explosion occurred about five years ago. But I still live about ten minutes away from there. We were just wrapping up service in church when I heard the explosion. We were praying, then everywhere went quiet. Initially, I thought the roof of the church caved in or something fell on it. We continued praying but everyone was also wondering where the sound came from. In the morning, I discovered that one of the glass sliding doors in my house was broken.

In case you ever find yourself in a similar situation, this article has tips on how to keep safe: This Is What to Do When You Feel Tremors in Your City



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