I am not one to write about latest news or gossip and that is definitely not the purpose of this post. I have decided to say something about this because it has upset me so much. Just less than 48 hours after I blogged about a reflection on Nigeria - basically not understanding the reason why the government would spend so much money celebrating when the country still had countless number of problems to solve, I received a text about a crash that happened in Lagos. That was this morning and I was at work. Moments later, another text came in saying no Nigerian TV channels were carrying the news meanwhile the international networks were buzzing with it.
A couple years back I decided to fly from Abuja to Benin, first the flight was delayed by 3 hours, then when we finally got on the plane and took off, oh my God! I actually thought I'd die that day. I can't even begin to describe what happened that day in writing but picture this; upon landing a 5 year old child came into the middle aisle, fell on his knees, bow down and was thank God profusely for a safe journey and guess what someone who left Abuja that same morning by road got to Benin before me. I decided to stick to the road unless I have no choice.
This is my problem now, first of all the people cried out about the nature of bad roads in the country and they fell on deaf ears, afterall, the big shots were using air transport and it was relatively safer and faster. Contracts were given out to individuals and companies who ended up taking majority of the funds and low quality materials were used for the roads, roads were not done fast enough, other times, the roads were getting bad even as construction went on.
Then it began to happen, initially years apart and then a little more frequent. The disasters that have befallen road travellers for years suddenly decided to take to the skies. There had been many airplane crash prior to 2002 but I probably wasn't paying much attention because somehow I can't seem to recall them as vividly as I recall the ones that have shaken the country since 2002 and they are as follows;
- May 4, 2002 (Kano) EAS airlines - 148 dead
- October 22, 2005 (Lagos) Bellview airlines - 117 killed
- December 10, 2005 (Port-Harcourt) Sosoliso Airlines - 103 killed (school children coming home for Christmas holidays)
- September 17,2006 Airforce plane - 15 dead
There seemed to be a breather for about 6 years after the 2006 incident because the government decided to look into the aviation sector a little bit more, looked like their comfort was being threatened. This led to the advent of airlines like Arik and Aero contractors to name a few. People felt safe again, more people decided to start using air transport as the road were now unbearable and even if you got to your destination safely by road, you were bound to take some pain relief medicines for some days. Then came the reminder that much more had to be done in the aviation sector. 5 crashes in 1 year, as if to say they were making up for the last six crash-free years. It started on;
- March 14,2012 (Jos) - helicopter crash - 4 dead
- June 2, 2012 (Ghana) cargo plane - 10 dead
- June 3, 2012 (Lagos) Dana airlines - 153 (including residents of the crash site) dead
- October 25, 2012 (Yola) Cessna aircraft - narrow escape
- December 15, 2010 (Bayelsa) helicopter crash - 2 dead
Now 10 months later there is another crash today, this time with Associated airlines and almost 20 feared dead so far. My questions?
- When will Nigerians as a nation become responsible for their actions?
- When will the government rise above taking little bribes to spare the lives of its citizens?
I wonder. Remember as you make your bed so shall you lie on it. If you think buying your own private jets will help, think again because there is bound to be some error due to corruption you refused to checkmate at the onset.