By CHIDI NKWOPARA
OWERRI—IMO State Government yesterday threatened to sue Dana Airline over the death of 33 indigenes of the state in the plane crash of June 3 in Lagos.
Governor Rochas Okorocha who spoke during an inter-denominational memorial service for the victims, also announced a N50 million lifeline to bereaved families who were involved in the ill-fated crash.
Okorocha said the government and people of Imo were saddened by the incident and directed his Deputy, Mr Jude Agbaso, and the Attorney-General, Mr Soronnadi Njoku, to commence action on the matter immediately.
He announced that a memorial park would be built in the state in honour of the victims.
Sanitation of the aviation industry
The governor said many Nigerians had lost their lives through avoidable air mishaps and called for urgent sanitisation of the aviation industry to forestall future occurrences.
“Imo got a very negative share of over 20 per cent of the human loss in the plane crash and as a governor and citizen, I am so pained. In our despair, we can only cast our feelings upon God. He alone can be our fortitude and fortress; in Him alone, can we take consolation,” the governor said.
He consoled the bereaved and announced a N50 million donation to the families of the victims to assist them in the burial ceremonies of their relations.
In a sermon, Bishop Innocent Erimujor reminded the congregation that death was inevitable and that what mattered most was what happened to the dead when they had departed the world.
Erimujor urged the people to endeavour to be righteous while on earth to enjoy eternal happiness.
Four Bible passages were read by the deputy governor; the Speaker of Imo House, Mr Benjamin Uwajimogu, wife of the governor, Mrs Nkechi Okorocha, and Pastor Cosmas Ilechukwu.
Rev. Fr. Peter Moka, who represented the Archbishop of Owerri Catholic Archdiocese, the Most Rev. Anthony Obinna, prayed for the bereaved families, while Bishop O.O. Agbai prayed for security in the nation.
Among the indigenes of Imo who died in the crash were Prof Celestine Onwuliri, husband of the Minister of State, Foreign Affairs, Prof Viola Onwuliri, and Dr Levi Ajuonuma, Group General Manager, Corporate Affairs, NNPC.
Others were Mr Dike Chinwe, SAN, Anyene Maimuna, Anyene Onyeka, among others.