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Missing plane: AC raises alarm over Nigeria’s readiness for disaster management

Posted by By Sun News Publishing on 2008/03/24 | Views: 670 |

Missing plane: AC raises alarm over Nigeria’s readiness for disaster management


The Action Congress (AC) has raised an alarm over the state of the country’s readiness to handle natural and man-made disasters, following the inability of the various agencies to unravel the fate of a light plane that has been missing since last Saturday.

The Action Congress (AC) has raised an alarm over the state of the country’s readiness to handle natural and man-made disasters, following the inability of the various agencies to unravel the fate of a light plane that has been missing since last Saturday.

In a statement, issued in Abuja on Wednesday by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party also expressed shock that the combined efforts of the military, National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and the aviation agencies could not decipher what happened to the Beechcraft 1900D airplane.

To add to the national embarrassment this issue has caused, AC said, the minister in charge of aviation and the relevant aviation parastatal had been singing discordant tunes about whether or not the wreckage of the plane had been found.
“It is sad that with the technological advancement available today, a minister in charge of such a key sector will have to rely on the claims of a village head and a local council official on the fate of the airplane.

“Worse still, one is deeply worried at the silence from the Presidency, considering the fact that, three Nigerian citizens were on board the aircraft when it went missing and the signal, the inability to find the plane sends to the international community about aviation safety in Nigeria and the value attached to human life by the administration,’’ it said.

AC said the development had triggered concerns across the country about aviation safety, especially after billions of naira were spent to reform the critical sector, following a spate of deadly air crashes.
The party said it had also shown that Nigeria may be ill-equipped to handle such disasters as an earthquake, a minor tsunami or even massive flooding of key cities, despite the claims that NEMA had been upgraded in readiness for such assignments.
“This is a national disgrace and embarrassment, and a sad reminder of what happened in 2005, when it took several hours to know what happened to a commercial jetliner that took off from Lagos en-route Abuja.

“The wreckage of that plane was supposedly found in Oyo and Kwara states, with some survivors, even when it later turned out that it crashed near Lagos, killing all the 117 people on board,’’ AC said.
“What is happening to us as a people, that a plane can go missing within our territory and we will be unable to know what happened to it after several days? What does this say about our ability to protect our territorial integrity and ward off external aggression? Why has this not elicited even a whimper from the Presidency?’’ the party queried.

It called on the National Assembly to urgently organize a public hearing on the state of the nation’s readiness for disaster prevention and management, and the Federal Government to investigate why the combined efforts of NEMA, the military and the aviation agencies had failed to unravel the fate of the small plane after several days.

“As the saying goes, a stitch in time saves nine. We must move urgently to ensure this kind of thing does not happen again, and that our various (relevant) agencies are well equipped to handle emergencies at a time of growing uncertainties in the world,’’ AC said

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Toluwalase Samuel Olufemi(Ijebu, Ogun, Nigeria)says...

Authority belongs to God, once He decrees it is final and binding

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Ikponmwosa Osamede(Edo, Nigeria)says...

Your meaning of Osamede is wrong. Osamede means God has given me a crown