By Godday Odidi.
During the civilian administration of former President Olusegun Obasanjo, Many plane mishaps occurred in his eight years government which almost plunged the country into unpalatable pandemonium. The fear of taken flight to different places of the country was the beginning unprepared demise among prominent Nigerians.The aviation industry has witnessed several lost of lives and property worth billions have been abruptly destroyed.Transportation by air is one of the risky challenges that has directly affected the Nigerian economy in a negative ways over the years.The dozen of people dying through plane crashes can be brought to halt if all airlines are prepared to employed capable hands and purchase new modern aircraft’s instead of second -hand ones that are mere caskets for great beyond.
Taking the current analysis of plane crashes across Nigeria , many aviation watchers can deduce from the negative occurrence as a sign of God being angry with our so-called political leaders who have turned the country into a begging nation despite of being the giant of Africa and 6th largest producer of crude oil and gas and most populous black African countries.On November 20, 1969, Nigeria Airways BAC VC 10 crashes on landing killing 87 on board and January 22 1975, Royal Jordanian Airlines flight 707 carrying 171 Nigerian Muslims returning from Mecca and 5 crew men died in crash in Kano, Nigeria. The Major problem of aircraft crashes in Nigeria i being caused as a result of lack of qualified Meteorologists to forecast the weather condition before the take off plane and landing. Our so-called airlines operators are not ready to invest on trained pilots and engineers that would oversee all the faulty of the planes.It has been a recurring decimal of plane crashes . Some of these airlines operators operate with genuine licenses but use old aircraft to convey their passengers to different of this world. Even receiving awards from media houses and corporate bodies as best airline operators of the world.No Nigerian airlines are using 2012 modern aircraft rather than antiquated and abandoned ones being imported into Nigeria as waste can and dumping ground for all sorts and nothing else.Most of these airlines which both Nigerians and foreigners are operating in our local and international airports are old compared to foreign ones. In the developed and developing countries plane mishaps have some limitation unlike in Nigeria where is now a music of the day.Deaths recorded in air crashes are more than any form of transportation in the world. The state of emergence of air mishap is nothing to write home about.
On march 1,1978: Nigeria Airways F28- 1000 crashes in Kano killing 16, November 28, 1983: Nigeria Airways F28- 1000 crashes on approach i Enugu killing 53on board. December 1988: Skypower Brandeironate aircraft overshot illorin Airport runway all the passengers died. On 26 June 1990, :Okada Air BAC -111: Sokoto , Nigeria fuel starvation during holding pattern over Sokoto due to heavy rain. Flight from Benin city diverted from Kano due to heavy rain. None of the three crew members and three of the 52 passengers sustained fatal injuries. February 24, 1991: British Helicopter crashed in Eket, Akwa Ibom state, killing all nine people on board. May 21, 1991: A Cessna citation 550 of Ashaka cement, Hombe, crashed killing all on board. June 26, 1991: An Okada air BA-111 crashed in Sokoto three people died. July 11,1991;Nigeria Airways DC -8-61 crashes in Jeddah audi Arabia from system failure killing 261 on board. September 26, 1992: Nigerian Air force AC-130 plane crashes minutes after take-off from Lagos, All 200 o board were killed. June 24, 1995: Harka Air services Tupoleo 34 crashes on landing in Lagos killing 16.
Again , November 13, 1995: Nigeria Airways Boeing 737-2F9 crashes on landing in Kaduna killing 9. January 17, 1996: Ibrahim Abacha , son of Sani Abacha was killed in a plane crash. Thegroup United front for Nigeria’s liberation(UFNL) claimed responsibility for the crash. November 7 , 1996: A Nigerian ADC ( Aviation Development Corporation) Airline Boeing 727-231 flying from Port Harcourt to Lagos with 142 passengers and 9 crew members crashed on landing, plunging into a Lagoon will allon board killed.January 31, 1997, Skypower Express Airways Embrear 110I A crashes on landing in Yola killing 5. September 12, 1997: A NAF Dornier 228-212 in Nguru , Bornu state ran into a ditch during the take off, none of the 10 people died. January 5, 2000 Skypower Express Airways Bandeirante 110IA crashes on landing in Abuja killing 17. October 26, Dornier aircraft plunged into a thick bush near, the Niger Delta, 6 occupants injured. May 4,2002: EAS Airlines BAC 1-11 500 with 105 people on board crashed and burst into planes in a poor densely populated suburb of Kano, 76 on board killed., including 72 on the ground bringing it to a total 148 dead. On November 30, 2003: a cargo aircraft of Hydro cargo Brussets, Belgium, crash landed, March 6,2004: An aenail spray aircraft with registration number 5NBEF belonging to BArfreex Nigeria limited, crashed at Bauchi Airport. July 26,2004: Pan African Airlines helicopter crashed into the Atlantic ocean in Eacravos, Delta state, 4 people on board died, December 29,2004: A Kenya Airlines aircraft crashed landed at the MMA due to gear fault. January 28, 2005: ADC ‘s B73 aircraft had its tyre burnt while landing at Yola airport. March 27,2005:A Boeing 737 of Beliview had one of its engines caught fire. June 11 and 12,2005: Lagos a Boeing 727-200 aircraft belonging to the domestic Chachangi Airlines overshot the runway at Muritala Muhammed Airport, While yet another overshot thier runway at airport in Jos in central Nigeria a day earlier. June 24, 2005: A Russian airport belonging to Harka Air crash -landed at the MMA, all the people on board died,. July 6,2005: Port Harcourt : an Air France A330 plane crashed into a hard cattle at Port Harcourt airport sustaining serious damage and killing many of the cows. The airport had no perimeter fence and herdsmen usually take their cattle across the tarmac, sometimes abandoning them there.On July 23,2005: a Lufthansa aircraft crash-landed at Lagos airport and was badly damaged, but no life was lost.October 22, 2005: A Beliview airlines Boeing 737 airliner with 117 people on board crashes and disintegrates in flames shortly after take -off from Lagos, all on board killed. December 10, 2005: A Soliso Airlines DC-9 crashes in Port Harcourt, killing all 103 on board. Most on board where school children going home for Christmas, September 17, 2006: A 18-Seater Dornier 228 Air for transport plane , carrying 15 senior army officers and three crew members crashed leaving only three survivors that sustained serious injuries. The plane with registration number 228-212 crashed in the northern part of the country at Oko village in Vandeikya local government area of Benue state at about 10: 3am. October 29,2006: Aviation Development Corporation Airline Boeing 737 with 104 on board crashes minutes after take-off from Abuja ‘s airport during a rain storm, All but 6 perished in the disaster. The spiritual leader of Nigeria’s Sunni Muslims, His Eminence, the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammadu Maccido was among the dead.
The quantum of deaths being experienced in our Aviation industry has seriously call for great concern of the Federal government to checkmate the operators of these Airlines. How many of these Airline operators are using 2011 or 2012 modern aircraft?Though it is very costly to operate airlines but some pentecostal pastors in this country are having 4 to 6 jets and aircraft let alone corporate bodies or government and lives and property needed to be preserved to avid the unavoidable.November 10,2006 OAS service Helicopter crashed in Warri, Delta state killing 4 on board, august 2,2007: Bristow -owned helicopter crashed inside Exxonmobil facility in Port Harcourt. March 15 , 2008: Beechcraft 1900 plane marked 5N-JAH, belonging to wing Aviation crashed in the mountainous forest of bush in Cross River state on its way to Obudu airstrip. The wreckage was not found until 6months after the suddenly disappearance of the aircraft, All 4 man crew on board died. March 14,2012: a Helicopter belonging to the Joint Task force (JTF) crashes in Kabong, Jos killing all members on board including 4 senior police officers died.
On Saturday 2, 2012: DHV 111 cargo aircraft, Nigerian plane crashed in Accra Ghana killing 10, one female and nine males. Though the Nigerian plane crashed into a bus loaded with passengers on a nearby street in Elwak sports stadium. As Nigerians were still mourning the irreparable loss of lives in Ghana when the plane mishap of Dana airlines commercial aircraft crash at Iju- Ishaga, Lagos which claimed about 170 lives and property worth billions of naira were destroyed, one of the worst air crashes in Nigeria ‘s history. In two unrelated accidents between Lagos and Ibadan, last Thursday 10 persons were killed. At Ibafo along Lagos-Ibadan expreeway, five persons were burnt in a multiple accident and explosions involving nine fuel tankers while a building under construction at New Covenant church, Sagbe, Ojoo , Ibadan collapsed during a downpour and claimed five persons including two women.
Consequently, 30 people were killed at Assakyo, headquarters of Lafia Local Council Development Area of Nasarawa state broke which followed the renewed violence between Alago and Beron communities and on the same day, an accident in Funtua Kastina state claimed three persons and injured 17 others. Still thirsty for blood, the agents of remained on prowl which nine people were abruptly killed and 40 others injured when a suicide bomber in a Honda civic car who attempted to force his way into the iron protected gate of the Loving faith church, Ungwan Angas Yelwa , Bauchi state but was denied entry detonated his explosives at the barrier opposite the church.
Although peace has become a scare commodity in many northern cities of the country on the account of bombing activities in recent times, the southwestern part, including Lagos, the economic nerve-centre has had no respite since last year.The unfortunate incident of the black Sunday is that many prominent Nigerians died at the plane crash including the General Manager, Corporate Affairs NNPC, Dr Levi Ajuonuma, former Tv broadcaster on NTA channel 10.
More so, Boko Haram insurgence from the Northern region which security challenge is one the problems confronting Jonathan’s government.Dana airline also killed innocent Nigerians in Lagos.Alternatively Nigerians will prefer to use road, water or rail transportation to prevent such quantum of deaths. Though our Nigerian roads are yet to be fixed to prevent unimaginable accidents in the country.Even other modes of transportation are not saved. But the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) has tried to prevent road mishaps in recent past years since its creation of the commission.Even other methods of transportation must be secured against Boko haram, Kidnapping, armed robbery and other social vices.The minister of Aviation Princess Stella Adaeze Odua- Ogiewonyi, chairman senate committee on Aviation sector Hope Uzodimma, all government and private stakeholders, governors of the 36 states, federal, local and state emergence units, Nigerian red cross, Civil society groups, Fire service men, Director-General of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority(NCAA) and chairman of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Africa-Indian Ocean Regional Aviation Safety Group (RASG) Dr Harold Demuren must work hand in hand to regurgitate the Aviation industry against future plane mishaps. Our pilots, weather forecasters, Meteorologists, engineers needed regular training to update their knowledge on 21st century on Aviation technology while new modern planes should be bought into the country and airline operators must be examined by Aviation Authorities of their aircraft whether it is aging or not.Those who are not capable to run airlines should be banned out of business.The aircraft need regular maintenance before its daily take off and landing.Security agencies and the National Assembly must work with Jonathan to counter Aviation terrorism attacks. From 1969 to 2012, a total of 2021 people have lost their precious lives and property to air mishaps.It is time for the government to wake up from slumber to fix the Aviation industry now not investigation or probe after mishap.May their souls rest in peace.