By Kehinde Oluwatayo
A university don, Prof Olaniyan Opafunso has called on Government agencies to pay more attention to matters relating to importation, procurement, transportation, storage and usage of explosive materials at all times.
Opafunso, a Prof of Mining Engineering, Federal University of Technology Akure (FUTA) said this at the 89th inaugural lecture of the institution in Akure.
The don who lectured on the theme “Explosive: For war or Peace”said policing structure of Nigerian land and sea borders should be intensified and re-evaluated for better performance adding that most smuggled explosives to the country pass through the route.
Opafunso called on government agencies and officies like customs, police, and federal mine officer to do more adding that explosive is dangerous than gun.
His words:”Nigeria is a big country and our borders are porous”you can drive all the way from Benin republic to the heart of Nigeria without anybody checking you. The route are many and explosive find its way in to the country through these borders.
“Let me tell you, these explosives are more dangerous than gun. when people see gun they panic and gun can not kill more than two people in one or two rounds but explosive can wipe off a whole community in a short period”
He said Nigeria may be sitting on a keg of gun powder especially with the infiltration of terrorists everywhere. He called calling on Federal government to do more to empower the immigration, customs and other security services to police our borders effectively to ensure Nigeria’s are safe.
According to him, the inventor of explosive (Alfred Nobel) initially did not manufacture explosive to kill human beings but because he wanted to make money like every other person, he decided to manufacture for killing people and later became a philanthropist when he saw the bad effect of his work.”
Alfred Noble initially invented explosive to help human beings. Explosive are good materials that make our work simple in the mining industry because we extract minerals and they are very hard and are inside the rock, but people have made alternative use of it”Opafunso remarked.
Opafunso who said manufacturing explosive is not a difficult task said it can be manufactured in one hour with home materials adding that he has the licence to manufacture it but only manufacture for peace.
He suggested that indigenous illegal miners should be addressed as artisanal miners and their papers formalized by Ministry of Mines and Steel development, Abuja
The expert recommended that research into the use of explosive for military and commercial purposes should be funded by the government and explosive manufacturing companies in Nigeria while mine Site Surveillance Services should be introduced and well funded by the government.
He called on individuals to be alert to their surroundings adding that is the number one way to protect oneself from IED (Impoverished Explosive Device) attack
He also called on individuals to report anything that is out of ordinary in their daily routine adding that things like bags or boxes in an unusual places, unusual smells and suspicious behaviour such as someone dressed in a heavy coat in summer should be reported
In addition to effective policing of the nation’s border, Opafunso called on Federal government to ensure there is improvement in the supply of electricity in the country adding that when there is light, crime reduces or even vanishes
His words “we don’t have electricity, no CCTV to monitor people even at the airport, if anything happens, you can’t flash back because there is no electricity.
An elder stateman at the event, Chief Sanya Oyinsan described the situation as a serious security challenge he said the inaugural lecturer has drawn the attention of Nigerians to the multi dimensional use of explosives and the risk of having dangerous explosives in the nation.
According to him, the fact that Nigeria has been promoted to the status of number five most dangerous nation in the world calls for prayer and action on the part of government calling on government to redouble its effort and ensure that security agencies pay more attention to possible areas of danger
He called on individuals to increase their own personal awareness and security consciousness from home to industrial, work place, churches, classrooms and everywhere adding explosive can be planted anywhere and it wreck havoc.
Oyinsan also advised Nigerians generally to collaborate with security agencies to expose possible areas of pitfall adding”all we are saying is explosive is as good for peace and as dangerous for war if not properly managed.”
In an interview with another don from the institution, Prof Ayotunde Adeagbo, said the lecture is an eye opener, He said the lecturer has revealed that explosives have useful purposes contrary to the opinion that they are only destructive
His word “We now know that explosives have useful purposes, I have gathered that explosives are used in mining industry to blast rock in order to get Minerals and it can also be used by people digging well to blast rock when they dig well beyond a certain depth and come across rock.
The lecture was the first inaugural lecture to be delivered in the Department of Mining Engineering in any Nigeria University.