by Tolu Orekoya
The Presidency released a statement today, refuting rumours that attribute the Dana Air crash to the First Lady’s travel schedule. The rumours claim that the air space was closed for two hours with all planes in flight unable to land, causing the faulty Dana Air to lack where to land hence it had to crash.
The statement signed by Ayo Osinlu, Special Assistant to the President, accused the people that are spreading this rumour of playing politics with the airline tragedy saying that the insinuations were “callous, inhuman, and devilish” and the First Lady had no plans to travel on Sunday and was in a public function on Sunday evening when she heard the news of the crash, just like everyone else.
Here is the statement:
Our attention has been drawn to the orchestrated plan to politicize the Sunday Dana Air crash in Lagos in which many people lost their lives, through rumours about the possible cause of the accident citing VIP movement involving the wife of the President.
We consider it callous, inhuman and devilish for anyone to have thought of wrapping such national calamity in political garb by insinuating that the plane crashed because the airspace was closed for the First Lady’s movement in Lagos.
For the avoidance of doubt, the First Lady arrived Lagos at about 2pm on Saturday, 2nd June, 2012 for a private engagement and was billed to leave for Abuja on Monday, 4th June, 2012.
In compliance with her itinerary, the First Lady arrived Lagos on Saturday. She was at a public event on Sunday when the accident occurred and promptly abandoned the ceremony as a mark of respect for the victims and retired to the State House, Marina. She left Lagos at exactly 13.15hrs on Monday, 4th June, 2012, according to schedule.
It is therefore surprising that some mischievous persons will see this moment of National mourning as an opportunity to blackmail and impugn the First Lady’s integrity.
This is the time for all Nigerians to be sober and pray for the repose of the souls of the victims and not a time to subordinate the interests of our nation to narrow self-serving interests.
Let us all put the interest of the Nation first in whatever we do.
Mrs. Jonathan had no intention to travel on Sunday and never did. Like all Nigerians, she has been mourning the dead.
Special Assistant to the President