DANA air crash, Nigeria Government adds insult to injury
I received with a very rude shock, the news of the lifting of the suspension of the operating license of the Dana airline by the federal government of Nigeria. I lost my wife Nancy Echendu Ibe, my 11 year old daughter Jennifer Uzoma Ibe and my in-laws’ wife Maria Okwulehie in the ill-fated Dana flight of June 3 2012. Many other families
lost loved ones.
Site of the air crash
Government stated in one breath that the preliminary reports on the crash shows that the crashed plane lost its two engines. Shockingly also, the same government says it has conducted a rigorous technical, operational and financial audit of the dana airline and found it to be airworthy.
If the Dana airline was airworthy then why did it loose two engines during the June 3rd flight? Is it not the same government, aviation ministry and Nigeria civil aviation authority that certified this airline prior to June 3rd?
Many questions are left unanswered by this spurious and suspicious lifting of suspension as many questions have also cropped up. Has the suspension been lifted because of usual financial inducements or the public relations war waged by Dana airline in the last few months? Has the regulators compromised as usual or is it that the government as usual does not care about the sensibilities of the victims’ families and indeed Nigerian people? If the family of the President or the aviation minister perished in the crash like my family did, will they rush to lift the suspension before addressing all the critical issues?
Families are still grappling with release of the bodies of their deceased loved ones, some have not been identified, funerals are still going on nationwide and all we get from this government is a rush to lift the suspension of dana airline adding salt to the injury of the already traumatized families and citizens.
The primary responsibility of government is to ensure the safety of lives and properties of its people. Is this rush to judgement not a failure of the government of this huge responsibility?
When I went to the joint aviation committee of the national assembly to testify about the dana crash, I stated that the same cycle will play out and government will as usual sweep this matter under the carpet before long. I couldn’t imagine that this will happen this quick.
What type of leadership do we have when the leaders cannot feel the pulse or the pains of its citizens? What do I tell my shocked 13 year old daughter who lost her mother and her sister? How could I explain to her that the government does not care about her feelings, her hurt, and her trauma? I keep looking at the pictures of my late wife and daughter and they keep reminding me of my promise that their death will not be in vain. How could I keep this promise if the federal government is this corrupt, insensitive, callous and wicked to its citizens? What type of nation are we leaving for the future generations or are we indeed capable of leaving any nation behind?
God help us all.
Ike C. Ibe
(Ibe, Ibe & Co. Legal Practitioners and Consultants)