Photo Speak. 3 Days after life and death. What Next?
There is something about June in the life of Africa. Nigeria had her June 12 Democratic zeitgeist and South Africa had her June 16 Soweto Uprising. On the motherland, death and life are locked in mortal embrace like two sides of the same coin. Indeed nothing ever promised tomorrow today and on Saturday evening (2nd June) a cargo plane over shot the Kotoka International Airport tarmac and landed on a bus in the capital of Accra, Ghana. This air accident killed 10 innocent people in circumstances yet to be understood. If we were still reeling in shock, this was only a fore warning of what lay in store.
The very next day the now infamous Dana aircraft flight 0992 took off from Nigeria's administrative capital Abuja to the commercial capital of Lagos. Barely three minutes to its arrival at the Lagos Airport (11 nautical miles away) it landed on buildings at Iju a suburb of Lagos. It claimed all 153 passengers on board, several others on the ground and threw a nation already mourning an early morning bomb blast in Bauchi in to further grief. The flight manifest has been released to the public.
After the three days of mourning declared by the government of Nigeria ends, what next? The president has visited the site and pulled out his handkerchief. What follows? The tearful announcement of the calamity by the responsible minister (of aviation) Mrs Stella Oduah must be followed by concrete action.
Mere action is not enough. It must be timely and thorough.
The prevailing sentiment in the country is that the necessary regulatory agencies shirked their responsibility and the airplane was not fit for flight. Some other commentators suggest that the flight was kept in a holding path to permit the first lady arrive or take off
For fathers like Commodore Abi-Kalio (left behind a house-wife and six children all in school), Lieutenant Colonel Ali and Lieutenant Colonel Ochigbo they were slain by a faulty engine not in battle. Some children do not know any relatives and like the Cole children will grow up without parental love and support which in an African setting is a horror better left imagined, we expect a full investigative report to be published. For the church in Utako who will contend with the loss of their senior pastor and his wife right after dutifully delivering their sunday message, measures must be taken to ensure that this tragedy will never repeat.
The giant of Africa must lead from in front with sweeping reforms of its power, transport and aviation sectors. More than tears on telly and the usual talk shop this common grief that unites the entire nation must be channeled to emplace institutional safeguards to keep our skies, seaways and roads safe. Already the endemic African amnesia is about to set in with talks of committees and probes. The lives that have been lost can not be returned however we can ensure that aviation accidents will be reduced to the minimum. The offer from the United States to aid in the investigation should be quickly accepted and the culprits if any must be brought to book publicly to restore the confidence in our aviation. This is not too much to ask for the family of the Anene's (famiy shown) who lost nine members never to be seen again by friends and extended family again in Connecticut, USA again.
In life we must remember the many young and old, rich and not so rich, men, women and children who all had unique stories, dreams and things to do when they set off 2.15pm. Reproduced are some of our friends, brothers, sisters, uncles and aunts. We will continue to mourn long after the official three days are done because we all share the same mortality and for this knowledge in life, we prepare for death.
|Lieutenant Colonel Ali|
|Joy Alison left behind a grieving husband and child|
|Lieutenant Colonel Ochigbo|
|Yetunde Fatokun Nee Ifonlaja was with both her kids on the flight. She was Miss Command Kaduna while in high school.|
|Maimuna (Mrs Ayene) and her children|
|Cross section of DANA air flight attendants, a passenger just before she boarded the flight|
|Cdre Abi-kalio uniform|
|Professor Emmanuel Obot (a personal mentor) and father to Utip|
|Vivien Effiong Atangakak (Due to wed 28/07/12)|
|Wale Eribake (Business Consultant)|
|Tunde Alade Martins|
|Rev Ayodeji and Ngozi Cole|
|Flight Sgt Adejilola Abraham|
|Oluchi Onyenyiri and her two kids were on the flight|
|Professor Onwuliri (husband of the current Minister of State for Foreign Affairs)|
|Ehime Aikhomu (first son of late Vice President Aikhomu)|
|Crew of Dana Air Flight 0992|
|Kola Ayoola (A branch Manager with Sterling Bank, Lagos)|
|Echendu Ibe and Jennifer Ibe (Daughter is purported to have a heart condition and they were on their way to India)|
|Pastor Akin (aka Pastor Colours) of House on the Rock|
Awyetu Hope Wasa.She was travelling with her mum Ruth Wasa
|Nadine Chidiac (Founder of Nadine Integrated Services was on Hi5 3days before the accident)|