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Posts tagged ‘Olusegun Agagu’

Nigerian Aviation, And Ghost Tales–A Paradox By Prince Charles Dickson.


By Prince Charles Dickson

When the soap is dirty, what shall be used in washing it

Nigeria is a beautiful land; that’s  a statement of fact. We take everything and anything, in fact sarcastically we take nothing. We go to bed and wake, what we see, we take, questions are not asked and when asked, very little comes by way of answers.

I get honestly amused at our attitude to life and the very essence of what makes us what we are. My admonition this week is on a rather strange phenomenon of ghost tales and how we just talk, complain, display temporary grief and move on.

The aircraft was not hired by the family, it was not hired by the Ondo state government, it was not hired by me and certainly not you, maybe Associated Airlines hired the aircraft from themselves. The ‘craft was carrying Agagu‘s corpse, his son, a state commissioner, boss of the undertaking company yet it was not hired by anyone. Ghost tales!

How many of us recall the Bellview crash in Lisa Village, only few years after, remember the tales of the Lisa Village project that began, today it is in a state of nowhere.

How about that Dike led investigation panel that went to all the airports, made recommendations, billions were spent, billions still being spent, and more air disasters.

This is a nation I have come to appreciate because of its peculiarities, while we are yet to understand a phenomenon, another sets in.

Did we really forget that Sosoliso crash and those kids, for several hours, infact a day after the crash, the manifest of the aircraft was yet to be released, then the manifest was being vetted by the State Security Service (very awkward) as I ask what has the SSS got to do with the “vetting” of manifest of a plane that virtually had only school children going on Xmas vacation.

The Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) even said the then Minister, Aborishade would release the manifest. When the Airport fire fighting vehicle (only one) came, it barely had water, though the authorities have come out to deny it, not that we expected otherwise, most of the dead were visibly badly burned.

Fast forward to Dana, and add Associated Airlines, same difference, except that the current Minister has allegedly added that these crashes are acts of ‘god’. Infact during Dana, while thugs stole and scavenged, others fought the fire with sachets of ‘pure’ water.

We have an Aviation Ministry that has watched at times as an aircraft ran into a herd of cows. Plane manifests treated like WAEC expo questions.

Does it ever strike one, that as usual again those who had earlier boarded the same crashed aircraft had complained that the aircraft was not in good shape, just like the Bellview Aircraft, just like Sosoliso, just like Dana…Truth is a hard commodity in not only the airline business, but most things in Nigeria.

In times like these every Nigerian both those that fly frequently and those who flew last in 1976 become air and craft experts and then as is always the case it would be accusations and counter accusations…lies, and ghost tales.

In Nigeria we have a President, a Minister for Aviation, countless agencies, and experts and yet airlines do “crew exchange” borrow and lend planes like it’s a TOD (temporary over draft) bank facility. Pilots fly for their airlines and are borrowed to other airlines. Aircraft due for major routine maintenance check are left to fly.

Big men cannot fly our airspace again, poor men cannot travel our roads, travel forty minutes from Jos to Bauchi and be interrupted by bigger boys (armed robbers), that is after the big boys (policemen) have also robbed the driver. Our waters if they do not have potholes already, are the domain of pirates, then one decides to trek to his destination a government official with his convey of 20 cars at 200 kilometers per hour blasting sirens would hit the man.

If our leaders are not wicked why would an airline over-sell its tickets I remember the BAC I-II aircraft belonging to EAS that crashed in Kano on May 4, 2002 the plane was reportedly carrying over load.  Virtually all the local airlines have turned our airspace to Oshodi motor park flying planes like Majekobaje (do not let it spoil) Lagos Kabukabu with planes quaking like some ‘e go reach’ ali chikwendu transport J5.

Ghost tales: Did you hear that ‘dead bodi get accident story’ or that ‘Agagu’s corpse dies in crash’ reported by a prominent media (not this one) or that gist about voodoo and metaphysical powers of the dead Agagu, how the coffin won’t open and wasn’t damaged…how about the wife died too, Obasanjo’s son and the first casualty figure of several hundreds.

I was an observer at the last Presidential Forum on Aviation some years back, I concluded then that Nigerian needs a coup de people, that is a people inspired uprising…I wept profusely for this nation…because I said more will die, and yes more have died, ask the families of the Dana debacle and more will die.

Soon someone, some government group or agency would organize the gathering of the “so-called experts” a bunch of the same people that killed the national carrier, and planning to float another, same people who supervised the buying of aircrafts that were older than our centenary. Simply put a gathering of the problem to solve the solve the problem with some ghost tales.

Who has forgotten that pilots take their simulator forms home and fill and they are re-licensed. NCAA officials get first class tickets to the Bahamas with their wives, concubines, mistress and girlfriends to go have fun, and they in turn certify the planes without seeing them.

If a plane is so bad that passengers can notice through the sound and movement and then not even the pilot complains and even if he complains, still flies that plane because some oga@the top say so. We are in trouble that all the current ad hoc mend your trouser arrangement cannot solve.

I love the Bible story of Noah and the ark, very few people listened, but rained it did and it rained and rained and rained. The ghost tales is going to continue, does anyone really think we are ready as a people to stop these tragedies–only time will tell.

 

The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of SaharaReporters 

Waiting For The Next Disaster: Nigeria’s Endless Conundrum By Olugu Olugu Orji mnia.


I am not a pessimist: not by inclination and certainly not by parturition. My dad of blessed memory – easily the greatest optimist who ever lived – said he inherited the trait from his father. If being positively inclined were the sole criterion for sainthood, my mother should have long been canonized. Even on her death bed, she still recognized the colours of the rainbow. So I’m pretty certain of the ingredients I was moulded from.

From a religious standpoint, I’ve been instructed right from my infancy to focus on the brighter side. Here’s an excerpt from the Good Book: “…whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable — if anything is excellent or praiseworthy — think about such things.”

To cap it all up, my training as an architect exposed me to terms that reveal all that is right and bright: rhythm, balance, harmony and sympathy. I was taught to identify the parameters of beauty and I cut my teeth honing the skills to replicate them in my designs. I have come to appreciate why good architects do extremely well as pastors but fail woefully as politicians (the dirty, double-dealing type). They thrive better in subservient, appointive positions where intellectual acumen and a calm, calculated mien guarantee distinction.

I would dearly love to talk about the encouraging data on infant and maternal mortality and the vastly improved funding of Obafemi Awolowo University since I graduated over two decades ago. It should give me a lot of pleasure highlighting the end to police penchant for extra-judicial killing and the legendary impunity exhibited by our so-called leaders. Wouldn’t it be pure fun reeling out mind-blowing statistics on new jobs created across all sectors while collating the census of all economic saboteurs doing time in jail?

It could only make sense if I’m speaking in an anticipatory sense or I’m delusional. Fact is, at this instant, I’m as sound of mind as I can ever be. So today, I’ll have no sweet tales to tell.

On Thursday 3 October 2013, we were once more roused to another sad tale: the crash of a hearse/airplane ferrying the remains Olusegun Agagu; erstwhile governor of Nigeria’s Sunshine State, Ondo. The Embraer 120 registered to Associated Airlines Limited had 20 live passengers en-route Akure from Lagos. In the past one week, there’s been anything but sunshine across the length and breadth of Ondo. At the last count, fifteen of the passengers had expired.

Once again the tide of tears and tributes swells while the stack of accusations and rebuttals has since pierced the ceiling. Sixteen months ago after the Dana Airline incident, we went through the same worn motions. Right on cue, the National Assembly has already seized the spotlight. The euphonious-voiced minister of aviation will be invited over with a few of her sorry-looking lieutenants. Questions will be asked, explanations and excuses will be offered and threats will be issued with the accompanying bluster and bombast. For good measure, a few official tears will be conspicuously shed. Afterwards, it will be back to the same, old stifling routine: frolicking and fornicating.

For the sake of all who needlessly perished and their grieving relations, I wish it could be different. Sadly, that’s just how it’ll eventually play out. Disaster breaks and we issue hot words and shed even hotter tears. Black boxes are recovered, black books are opened  and all manner of committees and panels are inaugurated, but just as quickly, the curse of collective amnesia sets in and we are already primed for the next disaster. No one is indicted and whatever punishment is doled out is usually only in a token sense.

Whether it is a plane crash, the stealing of public funds or mass failure of students in public examinations, there is one common feature: faceless public servants who pocket filthy lucre while looking the other way. Because they are also usually part and parcel of the efforts to unravel these unconscionable heists, it is little wonder the whole truth never emerges.

While reflecting on these testy scenarios, it occurred to me that most of these kleptomaniacs making out as patriotic public servants owe their employment and subsequent elevations neither to merit nor excellence. Either they have forked over tons of cash or they leverage on the support of some godless godfather. So they owe no allegiance to God, country or a good conscience.

To improve our chances of being lifted from our current quagmire, we must not only reform and revolutionize employment procedures to exclude these charlatans; we must urgently devise means of flushing out those already embedded in the system. For as long as criminals and enemies of the common good are not adequately and expeditiously punished, our dire situation will seem like a backyard skirmish compared to the Armageddon that awaits us.

I detest negative profiling and generalizations. I smart when the Igbo are classified as money-grubbers and crooks; and Nigerians as frauds. Over the years, though, I have learnt to live with the inevitability of these perceptions which, incidentally, are not always entirely false. This is how I do it: I try to be honest with myself about who I am long before someone else notices. That way, I drain the venom from any scathing remarks or descriptions.

As a Nigerian, this is how I presently describe my country: a nation waiting for the next disaster to happen.

OLUGU OLUGU ORJI mnia
nnanta2012@gmail.com

The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of SaharaReporters 

Double tragedy Aircraft conveying Agagu’s corpse crashes in Lagos • Olu Falae’s son, MIC boss, 11 others killed • Casket survives crash intact, black boxes too.


Plane-crash

Another tragedy struck in Lagos on Thursday morning when a chartered aircraft carrying the remains of a former Governor of Ondo State, Dr. Olusegun Agagu, 20 passengers and crew crashed less than a minute after take-off from the local wing of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Ikeja.

The Embraer 120 aircraft with registration number SCD 361 belonging to Associated Aviation Limited, was heading for Akure in Ondo State where dignitaries, family members, friends and associates of the former governor, had gathered for his final burial ceremonies. Agagu died on September 13 in Lagos.

Although the metal casket bearing his body was recovered intact, 13 out of the 20 passengers aboard the flight were confirmed dead by the management of the AAL.

Others, who survived the crash, were rushed to the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, Ikeja and the nearby Nigerian Air Force Hospital for treatment.

Feyi, Agagu’s son, who was speculated to have died in the crash, was one of the survivors. But, Deji Falae, the Ondo State Commissioner for Tourism and son of a former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr. Olu Falae, was not as lucky.

A handwritten manifest released by Associated Aviation Limited contained only 17 names, even though the airline said 20 passengers were on board. Those named as passengers were Femi Akinsanya, Akintunde Joseph, Akeem Akintunde, Tunji Okusanya, Chijioke Duru, Kingsley Amaechi, E O Alabi, Daji Bernard, Samson Hassan, Olatunji Okunsanya and Deji Afolabi.

The manifest listed Soroh Elaiye, Felix Fateye, Yakubu Oyinlola, and Owolabi Ibrahim as the crew members of the 23-year-old aircraft which last flew on August 30, 2013.

August 30, 2013, while the age of the aircraft was 23 years.

The airline said, “We can account for seven survivors, while the remaining 13 people were dead.” Mr. Tunji Okusanya, owner of Nigeria‘s most popular coffin marketer /maker, MIC Funeral Company; his son, Olatunji, and Duru were said to be among those that were killed in the crash.

Thursday’s crash happened 16 months after that of an MD 83 aircraft belonging to Dana Airline occurred in the Iju-Ishaga area of Lagos, claiming 159 lives on June 3, 2012.

Agagu’s recovered casket

The casket was recovered by rescue agencies at the tank farm of Sahara Group, where the plane marked 5NBJY, crashed.It was conveyed in an NAF Ambulance with registration no AF 054 -Eo1 to the NAF hospital, a few minutes after 12 noon.

The plane broke into two with its cockpit compartment seriously burnt, while the remaining part that included the luggage compartment where the casket was, was slightly burnt.

The remains of the former University of Ibadan lecturer were due to be interred in Ondo State this weekend after a series of events by the state government.

Plane lost engine after take-off

Aviation sources said the plane lost an engine immediately after take-off.

One of the sources, who confided in The PUNCH, said the pilot tried to return to the airport when the aircraft crashed about 800 metres away from the airport.

Rescue Operation

All relevant security and emergency agencies comprising the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency, the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, the Police, Federal Road Safety Corps, Red Cross and the Lagos State Fire Services, were present at the crash site.

Others included the Nigerian Air Force personnel and officials of the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority.

The LASEMA General Manager, Mr. Rasaq Fadipe, who was one of the top government officials at the scene of the crash, said the agency received a distress call around 9.30am and immediately mobilised men and equipment to the site.

“We took three fire fighting trucks,each with 10,000 litres of water, which my men used to extinguish the fire that affected the cockpit compartment of the aircraft,” he said.

Black boxes recovered

The Accident Investigation Bureau confirmed the recovery of the two black boxes of the plane.

The Director of Engineering, AIB, Mr. Emmanuel Dialla, said “We have succeeded in picking the two black boxes, which will give us an insight into what really happened.”

Conflicting figures

There was however initial confusion over the actual number of persons aboard the flight.

While the Ministry of Aviation put the number of persons at 27, the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria and the AIB said they were 20.

FAAN and the AIB said the 20 comprised 13 passengers and seven crew members, which included two pilots, two cabin crew members and three engineers.

The Special Assistant to the Minister of Aviation, Mr. Joe Obi, had said in a statement, “An Embraer aircraft operated by Associated Airlines with Reg. No. SCD 361 en-route Akure from MMA, Lagos, crashed shortly after take-off at about 9.30am local time.

“The plane had 20 passengers and seven crew members on board. The majority of the people on the ill-fated aircraft have been accounted for. However, rescue operations continue to look for one soul, who was on board the plane and who is still missing.

“Emergency rescue operations commenced immediately by a combined team of Fire Service and security personnel. We can confirm that there were six survivors on the aircraft. Four are in a stable condition while two are critical. All are receiving full medical attention in the hospital.”

But a commissioner in the AIB, Shehu Usman, said at a news conference in Abuja, that 20 persons and not 27 were on board the ill-fated flight.

Usman said, “There were 20 people on board.Thirteen of them were passengers and seven were crew members, which included two pilots, two cabin crew members and engineers.

“The plane had a 30-seat capacity. From four survivors which we had initially, we now have six survivors.”

He added that the bureau would not ” release the names of the casualties or the hospitals where they are until we have contacted the families involved.”

Usman, who also said that rescue operations at the scene of the accident ended at about 11.50am, also declined to give the age of the Brazilian made Embraer aircraft.

The General Manager, Corporate Communications, FAAN, Mr. Yakubu Dati, who spoke at the scene of the crash, said, “We confirmed today(Thursday) the crash of an Embraer 120 belonging to Associated Airlines near JUHA premises of the MMIA. The propeller aircraft marked 5N-BJY crashed around 0932hrs on its way to Akure with 20 passengers on board .

“The rescue operation commenced immediately with all the relevant agencies moving en masse to the crash site. The Black Boxes of the aircraft have been recovered. Some of the survivors are already receiving treatment at the hospital while rescue operation is still in progress. An emergency response centre has been set up at the NCAA medical conference room.”

Lagos to perform autopsy

The Lagos State Commissioner for Special Duties, Dr. Wale Ahmed, said the government would perform autopsy on those that died in the crash before releasing their remains to their families.

Minister sympathises with victims’ families

The Minister of Aviation, Stella Oduah, who sympathised with the families of the deceased, said full investigation into the cause of the accident had commenced.

Urging the public to be patient, she said in a statement that the nation’s airspace remained safe and secure.

The statement reads in part, “The Federal Ministry of Aviation deeply commiserates with the families of the victims. Our thoughts and prayers are with them at this difficult time.

“The Black Box of the aircraft has been located and is in the custody of the Accident Investigation and Prevention Bureau who, with the cooperation of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority and other relevant agencies has commenced full investigation into the cause of the accident.

“While it is too early to determine the cause of the accident, we urge the public to be patient while the investigation progresses. I assure the public that the investigation will be thorough and that our airspace remains safe and secure.”

The Chief Operating Officer, AAL, Alhaji Taiwo Raji, said, “We can account for seven survivors while the remaining 13 people are dead. There were 20 souls on board. It was a very unfortunate incident.

“We have 10 aircraft in our fleet and six serviceable aircraft and the last A-check maintenance was done on June 14, 2013. And the plane was insured by Sema insurance company and Nigerian Re-insurance.”

The company had earlier on Thursday said it was “currently co-operating fully with the aviation regulatory authorities with a view to establishing the remote and other causes of this most regrettable accident.”

It also assured that it would “continue to provide information on this accident firstly to the affected families out of respect for them.”

THE MANIFEST

1.Feyisaye Agagu

2. Femi Akinsanya

3. Akintunde T Joseph

4. Akeem Akintunde

5. Tunji Okusanya

6. Chijioke Duru

7. Kingsley Amaechi

8. Mrs E O Alabi

9. Daji Bernard

10. Deji Falae

11. Samson Hassan

12. Olatunji Okunsanya

13. Deji Afolabi

14. Soroh Elaiye

15. Felix Fateye

16. Yakubu Oyinlola

17. Owolabi Ibrahim.

Source: Radio Biafra.

LASUTH To Carry Out Autopsies On Plane Crash Victims Tomorrow.


 

By SaharaReporters, New York

Saharareporters has been informed that doctors at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH) are to carry out autopsies on the remains of those who died in yesterday’s crash of an Embraer aircraft shortly after take-off from Lagos. The aircraft, registered to Associated Airline, was carrying close to thirty people as well a casket containing the body of former Governor Olusegun Agagu of Ondo State. The Akure-bound flight ended in disaster when the plane went down near a fuel dump at the Murtala Muhammed Airport in Lagos, killing most of its passengers.
A source at Lagos State University Teaching Hospital told our correspondent that pathologists at the hospital would carry out autopsies on the recovered bodies today. He also disclosed that the process to obtain DNA swaps from relatives of the dead victims would take place on Saturday in order to enable the hospital to identify some of the bodies that were burnt beyond recognition. The source disclosed that thirteen bodies had been deposited in a morgue while the survivors were being treated at the accident emergency unit of the hospital. Our correspondent also confirmed that the Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB) had recovered the aircraft’s Black Box which should assist in revealing the cause of the crash. The ill-fated Associated Airline aircraft was chartered to carry the casket of the former Ondo State governor as well as some of his relatives and government officials detailed to accompany his remains to the Ondo State capital of Akure. But the plane went down about 9.30 a.m. shortly after take-off.

The crash happened a year and four months after a passenger aircraft belonging to Dana Airways crashed in Iju-Ishaga, a densely populated suburb of Lagos State on June 3, 2012. All passengers on board the Dana flight, including the captain and crew, died in the crash.

The AIB, which obtained the black box and parts of the crashed plane, later told a coroner’s inquest that the bureau had collected enough evidence to determine the cause of the crash. However, the inquest never arrived at a conclusive finding on the cause of the Dana crash. An official of the Ondo State government told SaharaReporters yesterday that no decision had been taken as to new plans for the internment of former Governor Agagu. “As you know, we have to address the issue of those who died, and they included staff of the funeral company that was arranging the whole funeral for the late Dr. Olusegun Agagu,” the source said.

Feyi Agagu, Falaye’s Son, Ondo Commissioner On Board Crashed Plane.


SaharaReporters has just learnt that Deji Falae, the son of Olu Falaye, a former secretary to the Federal Government of Nigeria was among the passengers on board an Embraer aircraft that crashed this morning in the Mafoluku area of Lagos.

The plane was conveying the remains of former Governor Segun Agagu from Lagos to Akure, the Ondo State capital, when it crashed shortly after take-off. Our sources also disclosed that other passengers on the doomed aircraft the Ondo State Commissioner of Tourism; the late Agagu’s son-in-law, and an executive of MIC Funeral Company, Femi Akinsanya which was handling arrangements for the late governor’s interment. Mr. Agagu.

The crashed plane was registered to Associated Airline, owned by former Governor Lucky Igbinedion of Edo State. In 1999, Deji Falae’s father, Olu Falaye, was the presidential candidate of the Alliance for Democracy (AD), and ran against Mr. Obasanjo.

A source stated that Feyi Agagu, a son of former Governor Agagu, was also on board the aircraft, but survived the crash with injuries.

Below is the full list of passengers and crew aboard the ill-fated aircraft:

1.Feyi Agagu

2.Femi Akinsanya

3. Akintunde Joseph

4.Akeem Akintunde

5.Tunji Okusanya

6. Chijioke Duru

7. Kingsley Amaechi

8. Deji Afolabi

9. Mrs. A.O. Alabi

10. Daji Bernard

11. Deji Falae

12. Samson Hassan

13. Olatunji Okusanya

Crew members:

14. Capt. Yakubu

15. Flight officer Oyinlola

16. Engr. Soroh Ebiya

17. Flight dispatcher Ibrahim

18. Mr. Felix Latoya

19. Cabin attendant Owolabi

20. Cabin attendant Samson.

PHOTONEWS: Plane Carrying Former Ondo State Governor Agagu Crashes In Lagos Airport.


 

A chartered aircraft conveying the body of the former Governor of Ondo State, Olusegun Agagu this morning crashed shortly after take-off at Murtala Muhammed Airport in Lagos.

Sources on ground said one of his sons was involved in the crash alongside the commissioner of tourism in Ondo State who had been detailed to accompany the corpse from Lagos.

Agagu’s casket remained intact, but failed to open after all efforts by the rescue teams has now been moved to the Air force base close to the Airport.

 

 Source: SAHARA REPORTERS.

Aircraft Carrying Agagu’s Body crashes In Lagos.


Saharareporters has learnt that an aircraft conveying the body of former Governor Olusegun Agagu of Ondo State, crashed today shortly after takeoff, killing 9 people on board.

Two sources told our correspondent that that there were at least 15 passengers on the crashed plane. Some of the passengers who perished in the air crash are believed to be family members of the late governor and officials of Ondo state government.

National Emergency Management Agency officials said 6 people survived the crash which happened in the Mafoloku area of Oshodi in Lagos.

Press Release By Minister of Aviation

An Embraer aircraft operated by Associated Airlines with Reg No SCD 361 enroute Akure from the Murtala Mohammed Airport, Lagos, crashed shortly after take-off at about 9.30 am local time. The plane had 20 passengers and 7 crew members on board.

Emergency rescue operations commenced immediately by a combined team of Fire Service and security personnel . Some persons pulled out from the aircraft have been rushed to the hospital while a few dead bodies have been recovered, The rescue operations is still on-going.

Joe Obi
SA (Media)  to the Hon. Minister

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