by Seyi Lawal
Following revelations on the history of the Dana Air plane that crashed on Sunday in Lagos, members of Lagos State House of Assembly on Tuesday called on the Federal Government to sue Dana Air over the crash that claimed all the 153 lives on board.
Leadership Newspaper reports that Olatunji Edet from Oshodi Isolo II Constituency made the call while contributing to a motion at a plenary session of the House in Ikeja. The motion was on aviation safety in Nigeria. She blamed the crash on alleged carelessness and incompetence of the airline. “Dana Air must be sued for negligence and ineptitude that claimed the lives of innocent Nigerians. It was learnt that the aircraft was faulty but the Dana Air management ordered it to take off from Abuja without any recourse to people’s lives. The airline must face the music; those who are culpable must be brought to book,” Edet said.
Other house member supported this motion.
Rotimi Olowo of Shomolu I blamed the crash on ineffective implementation of policies in the aviation sector. Olowo said that strict enforcement and implementation of the laws and policies governing aviation in Nigeria would improve standards and minimally reduce air mishaps.
He expressed regrets that Nigeria had suffered too many avoidable problems.
“In less than ten days, we have been mourning, not because God hates us, but because we are not sensitive to people’s lives and property. Many lives were lost to last week’s twin accidents on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway; thereafter, the mother of all tragedies struck on Sunday. We beg the Federal Government to find a lasting solution to these ugly incidents because we cannot continue to fold our arms and watch people die like chickens,” he said.
From Surulere I, Rasaq Balogun said the crash was due to poor supervision of airline operations by the Ministry of Aviation and the Speaker Adeyemi Ikuforiji added that many local airlines lacked maintenance culture. “The age of the aircraft is not the problem as agitated by many people, but lack of maintenance culture. We need to talk to ourselves as Nigerians to know exactly what is wrong with us because it is virtually everything that we do wrong; if we do something right, it appears it happened by mistake,’’ Ikuforiji said.
The speaker expressed regrets that in the last 33 years, Nigeria had recorded more than 40 air crashes, though air transport is believed to be the safest.
The Ministry of Aviation has since withdrawn Dana Air’s operating license.