by Hauwa Gambo
Stranger than fiction. But this news went viral via BlackBerries this morning:
This jst happened to Jahdiel, Nigerian Gospel artiste, few minutes ago..a wk after Dana Crash..wetin dey do naija airlines nah?
Imagine. I boarded an arik plane today for a program in ph, the plane was on for a while and we were all sweating profusely cos the ac was not on. I summoned a staff who attends my church asked him why..he said the second engine wasn’t working and dat the ac doesn’t work unless we take off. On hearing this we all disembarked the plane. Can u imagine they were trying to use a generator to start the engine. If arik planes can be faulty then no plane is safe to fly in nigeria.
Attempts to speak with the singer have not been successful as her phone is off, but her friend and fellow artiste, Nikki Laoye, confirmed the event. Repeated calls to the Arik Air spokesperson have not yet been returned.
However, aviation sources insist to us that this event is not a safety crisis – as the “generators’ which are actually Auxiliary Power Unit (APU) are used to power aircrafts on the ground. It is also said to be standard procedure on certain flights for Air Conditioning to be put on just before take-off as both aircraft engines come up.
UPDATE: We have contacted the singer via and she sent us this message:
After my refusal of flying with the flight today with arik air to ph flight no W3 519 with one engine, a new plane was provided for us..we could even smell the “newness” pardon my english..we were all calm and at ease. My fellow nigerians,the word “manage” is not our heritage. We deserve the best we will always get when we speak out with one voice. One people,great nation.