Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Another crash? No! :Nigeria in Intensive Care Unit (ICU)

The federal government declared 3 days to mourn the victims of the ill- fated airplane crash on Sunday which claimed over 150 lives leaving many injured.
During the course of the 3 – day mourning different things had been revealed to Nigerians as the crash is still undergoing thorough investigations.
The Dana airline had been asked to spot all operations pending the time investigations were concluded.
The senate was also not left out. Senator Hope Uzodinma and 29 others, the senate stressed that aviation regulatory agencies must be blamed for the ill – fated Dana crash which threw the nation into mourning and wailing on Sunday. Senator Uzodinma also said “the latest crash is a clear indication of failure and or negligence of relevant regulatory functions in the aviation industry which if unchecked could lead to more devastating air mishaps in the future”.

Senator Ahmed Makari also noted hat the disaster was avoidable. In his words, “ it was an avoidable disaster in my view and view of almost all Nigerians. The warning signals were thereto indicate how delicate the aircraft was but somebody must have certified it air worth. It is condemnable to lose these lives. It is sad and must stop in this country”.
You should see the faces of the relatives of the victims who thronged the Lagos State University Teaching hospital (LASUTH) mortuary for the possible identification and collection of the bodies but won’t be able to take them home yet until the autopsy has been carried out according to the management of the hospital.
It is only when something like this happens that people begin to point fingers, looking for who to shift the blame on, with experts explaining what should have been done, what must be done and what should be done.
My questions are: would that bring back the lives of these victims? How long would these last? Would that change?
What puzzled me the most were the words of the controversial senate president David Mark, he said “Dana would show more seriousness of the government in tackling air mishaps”, when advising the Federal Government to stop Dana from operating for the time being
You don’t even need to suspend the airline. No typical Nigerian would travel with the airline for months to come even if it is free.
This disaster and preceding ones all dies down to corruption; there is someone responsible for allowing the plane to fly, but he allowed it. I am also positive that the pilot knew the plane was not in good shape, yet he flew it just to keep his job and make some extra bucks. Now he has not only lost his job but died a disastrous death, taking many along with him.
Will Nigeria ever learn from this ill – fated crash? What would change after this crash?
Nothing changed after all these plane crashes:

22 September 2005, Bellview flight 210 killed 117 in Lisa, Ogun State.

December 2005, 107 perished in Sosoliso crash, in Port Harcourt

7 November 2005, 96 lives lost in ADC air disaster in Abuja.

17 September 2006 an air force Dornier 228 crashed in Benue state 13 people died.

Would the Dana crash that took away over 150 lives only add to the list of our aviation disaster?
A recurring issue around crashes is inoperative emergency services. I learnt the plane was in the same position for about 20 -30 minutes before it exploded. If the fire fighters, emergency unit were active enough, they could have rescued many. The regulatory body should take this seriously.
Nigeria is definitely ill and in intensive care unit. If proper measures are not taken we might not survive this illness and remain in the hospital forever or die on the sick bed.
Another surprising thing is that no Nigerian Television Station was able to cover the incident live, it was the CNN that made us know what was happening in our country at the time.
The loss of lives that non – availability of prompt emergency services causes was a major concern in previous crashes.
Some Nigerians are to be blamed but I see it as lack of safety orientation. We need to be orientated on how to act in this kind of situation; I heard some people were running after the plane shouting and wailing and when the plane crashed some went ahead, risking their lives to steal valuable items belonging to these victims. If you are not going to help, you should not go to these scenes and this applies to all accidents.
We really need safety orientation; even the road safety officers just ask if you have a fire extinguisher without teaching drivers and people how to use them. They don’t care if you can operate it. They believe their job is just to ask those questions and as far as they are concerned, they have done their job.
The most recent crash calls attention to the importance of establishing structures for the security of lives
Preventing another crash is the only way we can make sure these victims did not die in vain.