WORDS of condolence, commiseration and comfort poured forth from prominent Nigerians and aviation stakeholders, yesterday, as news of the crash of the Dana Air plane settled on the country.
Many of those who reacted last night said it was an irony that the crash happened at a time that it was believed that the problems that had for long bedeviled the aviation sector were about being overcome.
President of the Senate, Senator David Mark, Speaker Aminu Tambuwal, Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, governors, Aviation Minister Stella Oduah and national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur were among those who reacted last night.
While commiserating with families of the victims, Senator Mark promised that the Senate would investigate the cause of the aircrash in a bid to ensure that there is no recurrence.
Mourning loss of lives
In a statement issued on his behalf by his Special Adviser on Media, Mr. Kola Ologbondinyan, Mark said: “I feel so sad and heartbroken hearing the news of this ugly incident. It is quite unfortunate and disheartening. We mourn the loss of lives and prayed God to put a stop to every form of evil in our land. The Senate will definitely investigate the cause of this ugly incident to checkmate any future occurrence.”
Speaker Tambuwal who said he received news of the crash with great shock and sadness, said the unfortunate incident came at a time Nigeria made giant strides in the area of aviation safety. In a statement by his Special Adviser on Media, Imam Imam, the Speaker encouraged Nigerians not to be deterred from using air travel on account of yesterday’s crash.
Ekweremadu described the incident as “shocking and emotionally devastating,” noting: “This is shocking beyond words, especially given the noticeable efforts at repositioning the nation’s aviation industry and when we thought we had put the air disasters of early 2000s behind us.”
Aviation Minister, Princess Stella Odua who was on her way to the scene yesterday said: “I am extremely saddened by the news of the crash and I assure the nation that investigations are underway.”
Her predecessor, Mr. Femi Fani-Kayode on his part said: ”This is so sad. All that blood and life just wasted. We warned them about safety standards. Aviation is the sector I presided over. I know it inside out and now I am in pain. May the souls of those that died in that crash rest in peace.”
Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fashola said: “It is unfortunate that your expectations to welcome and embrace your loved ones after their journey could be cut short so abruptly and in such unexpected manner. There is no gainsaying the experience could be traumatic,” regretting that the incident would destabilize homes as well as cause disruption to the lives of the affected families.
Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State has described the death of over 150 people in a plane crash at Iju, in Lagos as a great loss to the nation. In a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Peter Okhiria, the Governor said: “I received with great shock news of the plane crash at Iju, in Lagos, in which over 150 people lost their lives. I wish to convey the deepest condolence of the people and Government of Edo State as well as my personal commiseration to the families of the victims.”
Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed of Kwara State described the crash as unfortunate and national disaster of monumental proportions. He advised aviation authorities to stop at nothing in finding out the caused of the Iju plane crash in order to avert future occurrence, prayed God to grant families of the victims of the two unfortunate incidents the fortitude to bear the loss.
Governor Idris Wada of Kogi State described the crash as a major loss and a sad day in the country’s history. Wada himself a pilot while sympathizing with the families of the victims commended those who were on hand to lend a helping hand at the crash site.
Chairman, Senate Committee on Aviation, Senator Hope Uzodimma on his part expressed shock over the crash and lamented that it occurred at a time when the Federal Government had put in place the necessary machinery to turn around the aviation industry.He called for an immediate probe into the air accident by the necessary authorities in the aviation ministry with a view to unearthing the cause and averting future occurrence.While commiserating with families of the victims, the senator expressed the resolve of his committee to put in place laws that would guarantee the safety of air travelers in Nigeria.
The PDP in a statement issued by its national publicity secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh on behalf of Tukur condoled with President Goodluck Jonathan and families of the victims over the incident. He said: “The entire members of our Party share in the grief, the pain and the anguish of the families of those who have lost their loved ones, their confidants, their sisters and brothers; their fathers and mothers; breadwinners and employers; and all those who are affected by this national calamity.”
“We (all Nigerians)are united in our grief and our condolences go to you all as we pray that Almighty God will in His infinite mercy and compassion console and comfort you at this most trying period of your life and give the bereaved families the fortitude to bear their irreparable loss.”
The Southwest chapter of the PDP also spoke in the same vein describing the crash as sad and painful.In a statement issued by its Zonal Publicity Secretary, Hon. Kayode Babade, the PDP commiserated with President Goodluck Jonathan, minister of aviation, governors and government of Lagos and Ogun states, management of DANA Airline, the entire Nigerians, especially those who lost their relatives in the crash.”
This is very sad and painful and all that we can say is that God in His mercies will console those who lost their relations in the crash,” PDP said.