Plane crashes in Nigeria: Princewill asks for judicial probe
By Eze Chukwuemeka Eze
With the Dana Air plane crash of last Sunday that claimed the lives of over 164 Nigerians including the entire passengers, crew members and innocent inhabitants of the site of the crash, it brings the number of plane crashes in Nigeria to 34 since 1959 when a DC10 crashed in Lagos killing all 87 people on board.
In these, quite probably, "preventable" incidents, over two thousand Nigerians have been lost. And in all these crashes, the government of the day has rushed to set up one type of probe or the other without implementing the findings or recommendations contained in those or previous reports. To Tonye Princewill the Leader of Princewill Political Associates (PPA) and a PDP Chieftain in Rivers state,” this is no longer acceptable; we cannot continue in this way, snuffing out the lives of great Nigerians as if even one life is not too much. A stop must be put to this carnage”, he retorted.
Princewill attributed the recurrent decimal of plane crashes in the country to corruption in the Aviation Sector and insufficient regulation and asked for a continued and accelerated overhaul of the sector.” Until corruption is eliminated in Aviation with credible and capable hands appointed to man all aspects, Nigerians should expect more plane crashes. I am totally devastated with the number of causalities claimed and I pray God gives all those affected the fortitude to bear the loss. The word tragedy does not even begin to capture the scale of it. If we want to keep getting what we are getting, we should keep doing what we are doing.”
He further observed that the absence of consequence was the mother of all our evils as nobody was ever brought to book when the dust had settled. “Previous reports on the 33 other crashes are probably gathering dust somewhere, why won’t the 34th?” He called for a stop to the typical probe bound to be dumped by subsequent administrations and spoke in favour of the setting up of a judicial probe were people found culpable in this latest incident are adequately jailed or accordingly sanctioned. There must be a cost to any wrong doing. The period of toying or taking the lives of Nigerians for granted will no longer be an option. I cannot comprehend the number of personal friends we lost in Sunday's incident.
The Prince of Niger Delta Politics who returned on an Emirates flight that landed a few minutes after the Dana plane had crashed had just taken 10 young Nigerians under the aegis of Change Nigeria Group (CNG) on a tour of Dubai and South Africa where they met with members of the UAE royal family, institutional investors and leaders from far and wide so they could discover for themselves the secrets of their success. The visit had culminated with a trip to Robben Island, the former address of the much respected Nelson Mandela where the price of leadership was in stark view.
“No condition is permanent so change is inevitable. The question is what role each and every one of us will play and how history will judge after that change has come.” This is what my recent travels have taught us, he concluded. “Like the filling of a cup drop by drop, it is hard to point the finger at the drop which made the cup runneth over. It must be clear to us all that this recent plane crash has to be the last.
Chief Eze Chukwuemeka Eze, is a Media Consultant to PPA