The Coalition Against Corrupt Leaders [CACOL] has expressed its displeasure over the statement credited to the Minister of Aviation, Mrs Stella Oduah, who described the recurring air accidents in the country as ‘God’s will that are inevitable’.
Mrs. Oduah made the submission while fielding questions from State House correspondents on investigations into the Thursday Lagos crash, the safety of the nation’s airspace and the suspension of Dana Air’s operations, among other issues.
While reacting to a comment that the latest crash had made nonsense of government’s much-talked about reforms in the aviation sector, the minister said, “We do not pray for accidents but they are inevitable. But we will continue to do everything to ensure that we do not have accidents. But an accident is an act of God.”
In his reaction, the Executive Chairman of CACOL, Debo Adeniran, who decried the apathetic attitude of past and present governments at the centre to the droves of death occurring on the nation’s airspace, averred that the frequent air accidents are products of corruption and incompetence in our aviation sector.
Adeniran said, “It is very unfortunate that we have people that have developed thick skin to the carnage caused by their inefficiency at the helms of affairs. The country’s airspace is not safe and the infrastructures on ground are in disrepair up till now, despite the government budgeting billions of naira yearly for their maintenance. These droves of death should give a responsive government concern, and not to give excuses that are not tenable. When things that are supposed to be done are left undone on time, it backfires and that is the result of what we are experiencing now. Accidents are not inevitable; with proper safety regulations in place, the frequency of air crashes can be reduced. We experience air mishaps as a result of the corruption and incompetence of the personnel in our aviation industry. Why ascribing the manifestations of their incompetence to God?
The truth remains that if Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority is doing a proper job and not collecting bribes, they would have been able to avert some of these accidents. In saner climes, whosoever certified the air worthiness of the aircraft would have been traced by now and shown the way out of the system.”
The activist however called on the Minister to resign for the reckless statement.
Media Officer, CACOL
08 October, 2013