Temie Giwa: Making tragedy count (YNaija FrontPage)

Tragedy is an opportunity to do better, to create better systems and a better world.

What do I add to the silence here? About 200 people died for no apparent reason. I didn’t know any of them personally but many were friends of friends and this sort of closeness forces self-reflection. How did Nigeria get here? How did our collective will allow so many to die such a senseless death? If you are reading this you know the drill. The government was negligent in regulating the airline industry.

Dana has in its possession many faulty planes that they fly around the country even after being warned by a state governor, and their own employee. The people contributed to it by wasting many tragedies and not demanding better because life is hard in Nigeria. Life is really hard in Nigeria. I don’t blame those who want to leave the country or those who want to keep their heads down to survive the horror of bad governance and dangerous companies.

Life is short, nasty and brutish and then you die a senseless death. Things fall apart so quickly and nothing catches you. There are no safety nets for most Nigerians. You are angry and depressed and above all you are afraid, afraid for your family, friends and for yourself.  This I share with you, but as a professional optimist, I know we can make something out of this. It is our collective duty to channel this anger and rage into actions that will not only save our lives when the time comes but that will be a monument to the lives lost. Our task here is to build a monument to the Dana200, a monument of good governance, inspired citizenry and bold actions. It is our collective responsibility to make sure those who are dead become the heroes they never meant to become.  We have got to use this tragedy well.

When tragedy happens, I believe that three rapid steps must be taken immediately to make sure it means something to those who died to create this opportunity. Tragedy is an opportunity to do better, to create better systems and a better world. It is a chance to be the very best of us, to try harder and make it worth the lives lost. To do this we must find out what happened, punish those who let it happen and reform the system in question in order to prevent another breakdown. All of these steps must happen otherwise it means nothing. History tells us that Nigeria is good at finding out what happened, punishes shoddily and then everyone moves on. I must stress that all three of these steps must happen following each other for it all to mean anything. To make this worth the price we as a country have collectively paid.

The Report

There is an agency whose job is to find out exactly what happened with this crash. Captain Muhtar S. Usman heads the Accident Investigative Bureau. I call you to send emails, and make phone calls to this parastatal for the report of the accident. If just 1% of Nigerians can send an email and make a phone call, this might force the hand of the authorities to make public exactly what happened on Sunday evening.

The Punishment

After the report has been released, it is our collective responsibility to make sure that the people who are responsible for the accident are prosecuted for criminal negligence or at the very least lose their jobs. This will require that we pay attention all through the process.

The Reform

The Aviation sector needs desperate reform. Fortunately there is no need for new laws if current regulations are rigorously implemented. Businessmen do not particularly like to be regulated and often government officials want to please these businessmen but regulations protect the health of the citizens and we must put the pressure on the regulators to do their jobs.

I believe that if we are to stay committed through this three step process we might be able to make this tragedy a positive dawn for Nigerian.

 

Accident Investigation Bureau Contact Information

P.M.B 016 Murtala Muhammed International Airport,

Ikeja, Lagos

 

Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport, Abuja.

 

24hr Emergency Lines:

+234-807-709-0909,

+234-807-709-0908

 

Commissioner /CEO Hotline

+234-807-709-0900

 

E- mail: [email protected]

Website: http://www.aib.gov.ng/


Editor’s note: Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.

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