It’s eight years since the ill-fated Dana Plane crash of 2012 which dealt a heavy blow to the nation as several lives were lost. It was alleged that the crash was traceable to technical defects.
We recall that the plane crash resulted in the death of all 153 people on board and several others on the ground and led to a call for investigation. Almost five years later, the Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB) in 2017, released the final report on June 3, 2012 Dana Air mishap in Iju-Ishaga suburb of Lagos State.
The final report of the Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB), as authenticated by the Federal Government sufficiently analyzed the dual failure of the engine and that the aircraft could not have flown from Calabar to Abuja and Abuja to Lagos almost immediately. The report posited that the not-too-air-worthiness of the aircraft should have been considered by the airline before engaging the aircraft on that ill-fared flight.
The AIB report went on to say that the inappropriate omission of the use of the checklist, the crew’s inability to appreciate the severity of the power-related problem, and their subsequent failure to land at the nearest suitable airfield also contributed to the crash.
This was the report of the experts who investigated the remote and immediate causes of the accident. It is, therefore, disturbing that five years after the report, there are attempts to politicise the crash and the report of the AIB.
In July, a media report had alleged that a serving minister of state was responsible for the Dana Plane crash to cover up tracks of alleged corrupt practices while serving as senior management staff of an oil company
The publisher is alleged to be in the custody of the police for also alleging that the force had received bribes from the said minister to suppress investigation into the matter at the time of the air crash.
As a Newspaper, we are concerned that after eight years, families who lost their loved ones are being reminded of the tragedy. We think that they do not deserve to be put through that again. They do not need to go through the mental torture of that incident. They would prefer to let their relations truly Rest In Peace without been enmeshed in the politics of what happened or did not happen.
We recall that the facts were made public, and no minister was mentioned in the AIB report either as one who master-minded or orchestrated the ill-fated air crash which ugly memories still lives with the families of those who lost their lives and by extension the Nigerian state, especially the aviation industry.
We are not in a position to get involved in the politics behind the report or for that matter that of those who may have played whatever role in the circumstances that let to the crash.
Furthermore, we are of the opinion that the dead and those they left behind must be spared anymore anguish regarding events of June 3,2012.
We concede to politicians their proclivity to play politics with everything even with something that happened years ago. But we insist that there should be a limit to politics especially when misfortune is involved.
In our opinion, the AIB report which was painstakingly carried out by experts and the report was not faulted by relevant authorities in Nigeria, neither was the report contested by interested parties in the crash.
Unfortunately, as the schemings for 2023 get underway, a lot of intrigues and mudslinging are at play. If the serving minister in question is interested in any elective office, that is his prerogative. Whether he succeeds or not depends on the will of the electorate in the constituency he wishes to serve. That he is chosen to serve in the present administration heeled on integrity is, in our opinion, enough commendation which cannot be vitiated by the unfair attitude of detractors out to play politics with even the most mundane of issues.
Having said this, we want to make it clear that we are not holding brief for a minister or any other person for that matter. Our concern is the unacceptable politicization of a sad incident. It is also pertinent to point out that the publisher of the report said to be in detention is held, according to the police, on the orders of a court of competent jurisdiction. No minister is pulling strings of whatever kind.
In the present circumstance, it is our considered opinion that playing politics with the dead is, to say the least, insensitive. It is even more so because of the painful memories it will evoke in the minds of those they left behind. Besides, a competent authority had meticulously gone through what was an accident and came out with a report. That ought to rest the matter. Dragging individuals who were not operatives in the aviation industry at the time for political reasons, is breaching the bounds of decency.