- ‘ Cases of rape rise to 84% in Nigeria’
- Dana air crash update: 23 aircrash victims’ families yet to receive compensation
- Mimiko inaugurates new Mother & Child hospital today
- N4.56b pension scam: Female accused hospitalised,trial stalled
- Construction workers hail FG’s decision on Lagos-Ibadan expressway
- Senate adjourns plenary for 1 week, dissolves to Appropriation committee.
- Blackout looms as Egbin power plant breaks down
- FMBN, NEXIM, BOA, IB lose N47bn in 6 months - CBN
- FirstBank wins Nigerian Bank of the Year award
- PDP tackles ACN over Tukur’s comments
- Electricity workers threaten strike over Wamakko
- ‘NDIC prosecuted 55 directors, staff of micro finance banks in 2011’
- Judgment in Oni’s appeal stalled, re-fixed for Jan 8
- Slain banker: Deceased had only 3 wounds -Accused’s father
- Appointments: S/West not marginalised —FCC
IF you are a Nigerian, you would know that we have been in the news worldwide for the past twelve days – again for the wrong reasons. In that short period, it has been one tragic blood-letting event after another. It is as if hell threw a bouquet of fire and brimstone on this land.
Someone once said that anyone who survives living in Nigeria must know that his prayer for God’s presence through the experience of navigating the valley of the shadow of death has been answered.
As I was writing this, news came that another tanker just crashed and spilled its contents on the Otedola bridge of the Lagos-Ibadan expressway, the third of such incidents on that road in 10 days. This macabre dance of death started on Thursday the 31st of May when 10 tankers were burnt on the same road. As if that was not enough, I was en route Lagos from Ado-Ekiti when my daughter called to say that I should not venture on the expressway because she had caught the news on CNN that 24 vehicles had caught fire on that same spot and the inferno was still raging. I passed the night in Ibadan.
I had barely settled down in my living room in Lagos on arrival on Sunday when the news came that the mother of it all had happened; a Dana Air flight from Abuja with 153 passengers and crew on board had crashed into a densely populated area of Iju-Ishaga, less than 10 minutes drive from my residence. Till now, I have been too heartbroken to visit the site. What celebration is there in a festival of death? Meanwhile, the messengers of hate and death in human form, a.k.a Boko Haram continue to treat the nation to their own Molotov death cocktails. On the same day as the Dana crash, over 20 people were bombed into an early grave in Bauchi. And again, on Friday, they struck at the police headquarters in Maiduguri even when the nation was still mourning. Haba!
Only on Saturday, an Arik Air flight overshot the runway in Abuja because there was a blackout on the runway. Thank God another disaster was averted. To avoid any eventualities, all international flights were diverted to Lagos for landing.
At times like these, people pontificate on the issues involved viz; the airworthiness of the plane, the judgment of the pilot, the penny-pinching shrewdness of the airline’s Asian owners.
More still, theories emerge on the ineptitude of government regulatory agencies. Some have even postulated that this is our own foretaste of Armageddon. God must be angry with a nation whose leaders appear to be sworn enemies of the people they lead. These are all understandable positions to take in the wake of the angst that we feel as a people.
Whatever position you hold, justifiably or not, one thing is clear, most of these mishaps and mindless waste of human potentials are avoidable. As for the Dana Air tragedy, only the report of the cause of crash as pieced together by the contents of the black box will reveal the truth, if they ever make it public. The last time I travelled through the international airport in Lagos in April, the computers were down and all the flights went through manual checking in! The air conditioners were not functioning and we were all struggling for space like people trapped in a rat-hole. If in the 21st century, we cannot maintain an airport to international standards, pray, how can we effectively police the maintenance of aircraft?
I am convinced that government in Nigeria must be rocket science. Otherwise, can anyone in his normal mind explain to the naive rest of us the reason for the tardiness in the construction of the Lagos-Ibadan expressway? I still cannot understand how and why any serious nation that wants to claim a place in the comity of nations would so flagrantly and unabashedly neglect its busiest highway. What does it cost to make this less than 200 kilometre road motorable? Abracadabra. The more you look the less you see. Leaders play politics over this road for selfish reasons. Meanwhile the harvest of death continues daily on this road while the cannibalistic hounds of hell feed their gory palates.
To the families who lost loved ones, my hearty condolences. God will indeed send comfort. I stand with you in this hour of pain and grief. To our leaders, I have no words to waste. They just don’t listen! We are ruled by many deaf brigands who in saner climes should have been in jail by now! Bertolt Brecht, a German poet proposed a way out in his poem The Solution;
“After the uprising of the 17th June
The Secretary of the Writers Union
Had leaflets distributed in the Stalinallee
Stating that the people
Had forfeited the confidence of the government
And could win it back only
By redoubled efforts. Would it not be easier
In that case for the government
To dissolve the people
And elect another?”
The tail is indeed wagging the dog! We shall overcome one day!
Remember, the sky is not your limit, God is!