Tuesday, October 31, 2006


When i got home last night, my dad had company and i joined in for a quick chat. Out of that came some feedback on the cause of the fatal ADC plane crash:

The pilot was told by the control tower to wait a few minutes on the runway. Was told that even though he was clear to take off, there were strong winds that would hit a few minutes into the flight. This conversation was heard by pilots in Virgin Nigeria and AeroContractor planes that were queued behind the ADC plane awaiting clearance for take-off. The pilot said he could maneuver his way around it. He took off and made a right bank to face Sokoto when the winds in question hit the plane and literally slammed the plane to the ground. This was especially made worse by the fact that the plane hadnt reached cruising altitude and hadnt even straightened out after take-off.

Now, the sources of this information are active in the aviation sector and are actually heads of some agencies in that sector. One of the survivors - a female youth corper was thrown clear out of the plane and was completely unscathed.

The lack of emergency response made helping the injured woeful. The head of Nigeria's fire service was spewing fire. He was sooo mad. He said to reporters that it was dismal that since the colonialists handed Nigeria back to us, the fire service has remained the same. He said absolutely nothing meaningful has been done and apparently his portfolio is deemed inconsequential in comparison to other matters of state.

I wonder what Obasanjo is thinking. The superstitious part of me thinks God is sending the man a sign. In his presidency, he lost his wife, 3 major airlines have crashed, one crash containing military personnel, several near incidents. On the other hand, i have to wonder if EFCC, 3rd term bids, impeachment support, fights with his vice president, frustrating the finance minister out of office, missing funds from the oil and NNPC accounts are the things that a sitting president of MY BELOVED NIGERIA should be worrying about?

Considering the fact that there is so much travel in Nigeria that supports businesses, transports expatriates bringing in business, supports the private sector, you would think that this area would be of top priority. The roads are death traps, highway robbery is rampant and now the airline sector is torpedoing.

The head of one of the agencies that's a family friend now has armed security guards and a bulletproof vehicle because his proposed changes met with threats from all angles including some people in the private sector benefitting from the shoddy way things are done right now. Even attempts to re-certify pilots and give new guidelines for the qualification of the pilots met with so much resistance. We cry about using local personnel but then some of them have shoddy qualifications. Bringing in foreigners is well and good but people dont want to pay them what they are worth opting instead to go with cheaper options.

One can go round and round about all the issues surrounding this crash and the general state of things in Nigeria. What are the answers? People in my generation that should be making a difference in one way or another dont care. Some of them are abroad and have absolutely no intention of coming home. Some of them back home while being successful are content to make their money and party with the best of them and be trendy and date and marry the beautiful people without making a contribution that matters. The ones that are interested in making a change lose faith when faced with the utter corruption and game playing that goes on in the corridors of power.

Looking to God is the solution but even that is rife with corruption and exploitation. When some "men of God" ride around in bulletproof convoys of exotic guards complete with armed guards (what are they afraid of?), others declare themselves "Jesus Christ" and take to burning congregation members for alleged sins such as refusing to sleep with them (Nigeria's Reverend King who is on trial right now), one has to wonder if God hasnt turned away from this country. When some so-called christians (especially christians) are the biggest hypocrites that exist. Considering the number of churches, traditional healers, house fellowships, juju men, mosques that exist in this country, one would think we would have become the next chosen country. I believe in one God for all faiths but for those that dont believe, one would think that any of the ultimate beings including those gods consulted by the juju men would have manifested by now.

Which way Nigeria?

1 comment:

Daddy's Girl said...

I love this post. It captures so much of how I feel about this country. Our leaders spend too much time wasting our money or fighting over irrelevancies, we spend too much time blaming our leaders and doing nothing ourselves, and in the meantime, the man on the street continues to suffer in silence - or resorts to crime. We all need to change our way of thinking - from the top to the bottom.
I love Nigeria and pray that we can lift ourselves out of this mess. Maybe we can start by electing the right leaders next year (although even that is not at all striaghtforward).