Sunday, December 11, 2005


50 students of the famous Loyola Jesuit College were killed in the latest air disaster in Nigeria last Saturday.They were on the ill-fated Sosoliso Airlines DC-9 Flight 1145 from Abuja that crashed in Port Harcourt at exactly 2.08 p.m., yesterday, killing 103 passengers (including the crew)on the spot and four others have also died in the hospital where the wounded survivors were rushed to.The 50 students of Loyola Jesuit College, Karu,Abuja were returning home for the Christmas holidays.

Chippla Vandu was the first Nigerian to blog the breaking news yesterday before I posted the bad news of the second catastrophic air disaster in Nigeria this year within 50 days. The bereaved families of the 117 people who lost their lives in the Bellview plane crash on October 22 are still mourning when the horrible news of the latest air crash was reported on the CNN and other foreign news agencies before the Nigerian news media could report it.

It is horrifying and terrifying to bear the nightmares of these calamities and only the bereaved families would be able to tell others the trauma of the great loss of their beloved ones. And only God who knows the depth of their awesome loss can comfort them.

I have warned of the grave consequences of the incompetence and inefficiency of the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) and the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) under the office of the Aviation minister, Prof. Babalola Borishade.

The ill-fated Sosoliso Airlines(Flight 1145)DC-9-32 aircraft with registration number 5N-BFD was manufactured in 1973. So it is a 32-year-old "tokunbo" aircraft.

I am not going to say more than what I have already posted onChippla's Weblog. I will only quote the similar views of a competent professional in the aviation sector, Capt. Tito Omaghomi, former Chairman of Nigerian Aviation Safety Initiative (NASI),who flew for the presidential fleet and liquidated Nigeria Airways for 35 years.

The Vanguard reported that Captain Tito Omaghomi:
re-echoed his recent comments in a Vanguard interview, saying planes would continue to drop off the sky as long as the rot in the aviation industry remained uncleared.

“Well, go back to my interview; I told you more will be happening. The rot in the system is manifesting now.I told you it will happen, this is only the beginning. May the souls of the dead rest in perfect peace.Amen!”, he said.

When on December 2, an experienced pilot,Captain Tito Omaghomi described the sector as being in disarray, many so-called stakeholders dismissed his observations, describing him as doomsday prophet.But it took only a couple of days after, for the plane crash at Port Harcourt.Omaghomi, while speaking with Vanguard editors, reviewed the aviation sector and warned that unless a radical overhaul was carried out, the airspace, would continue to witness disasters.

He said that the sector constituted a threat to lives of travellers and a dent on the image of Nigeria, because the sector has suffered the infiltration of non-professionals.A situation where unqualified people occupy sensitive positions and operate the sector, based on party patronage, standards are therefore thrown to the winds.Omaghomi raised fresh alarm that due to poverty afflicting most pilots “they now fly aircraft even though they are not sure of its airworthiness”.

He added that the frightening aspect of your flight was that most pilots do not go for regular training and checks.The reason being that “training practice is no more”. On inspection of airplane, he said, “we have a very sad thing happening in respect of airplane inspection. Based or what he described as dangerous airspace, he said,“when I go to the airport these days to board a flight I take my time to find out who the pilot is. If I am not sure of the competence of the pilot, I take my bag and go back to my house”. That is a message for the authorities. But can the present operators of the sector turn the situation around make the airspace safe and restore public confidence?

Nigerian airports are like cartoons when an Air France passenger jet crashed into a herd of cows on the runway at Port Harcourt International Airport. And some cows were recently shot dead on the runway of another Nigerian airport. There are so many potholes on the runways of most of the airports in Nigeria.

My final verdict is that the incompetent Aviation minister, Prof. Babalola Borishade SHOULD BE SACKED immediately.


Athene Aquinas said...

Another plane crash in Nigeria. Simply tragic.. :-( A very difficult Christmas for their respective families.

Orikinla Osinachi. said...

God will help us.
God will save us.

Nneka's World said...

Only in nigeria, they are not content to have potholes on the road, but also on the runway

Anonymous said...

the nnumber of students that died in that crash is actualy 60. 60 of the best and brightest children in Nigeria. It is amazing how Nigeria due to the gross stupidity and sheer coruptness of our so called leaders continue to throw away innocent lives, while they continue to bicker on and on about who will rule Nigeria next. Those who have ruled so far, what have they acheived?? Why do we Nigerians continue to allow them to dictate our lives and throw away the lives of our children? when will we learn and put a stop to this incessant killing of our youth, not just by plane crashes but by road ,Okada, armed robbers , medical incompetence or lack of essential medical services , the list is never ending but it all boils down to "WE THE PEOPLE" allowing and condoning this rubbish. How many more children have to die before we get off our backsides and take an active part in sanitizing the nation........

Anonymous said...

its been over 2 years since this tragedy occured.
i am a student of loyola jesuit college and i lost my best friend in this tragedy.We as a community have suffered greatly.
This year,as we remembered our classmates, we celebrated their lives and hoped that the tragedy would bring betterment to our nation. We are still the young generation and we hope and we promise to ensure that nothing like this tragedy occurs again in the future.

Orikinla Osinachi. said...

God will not disappoint those who believe in Him and do the right thing for our common good.

Take good care of yourself always.

Cheers and God bless.