By Olasunkanmi Akoni, Lawani Mikairu, Onozure Dania & Gabriel Olawale
Lagos— Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, CEO, of Air Peace airline, Allen Onyema, yesterday, said the airline would wait for the outcome of investigations before taking a decision on its order for 10 Boeing 737 MAX 800 which will begin to arrive in 2023.
Onyema also frowned at the behaviour of some Nigerians who mischievously created the impression that the airline already had the aircraft in its fleet.
According to him: “It is true that Air Peace ordered for10 Boeing 737MAX 8, after which the aircraft type was involved in two fatal accidents in Indonesia and Ethiopia respectively, but like other airlines that have also ordered the aircraft, the Nigerian carrier would wait for the outcome of investigations before taking a decision on the order.
“We are not saying we are cancelling neither are we saying we are not cancelling because no airline that ordered for the aircraft had said it is cancelling. Everybody is waiting for the outcome of the investigation. What airlines that have the aircraft have done now is to ground them until the result of the investigation comes out. And at the same time countries are banning them from flying in their airspace until the investigation comes out.
“But I still wonder that air accident happened in Ethiopia, Ethiopians have never taken their airline that had accident to the cleaners. Ethiopians have never up to this moment attacked Ethiopian Airlines that bought this aircraft. South West Airlines has so many of these planes, no country has ever attacked those who innocently purchased these planes and who are already using them. We have 400 of these planes in active service.”
Senator hails ban, mourns death of Nigerians in ill-fated aircraft
Senator Gbenga Ashafa, representing Lagos East and Chairman Senate Committee on Land Transport, has stressed the need for Nigeria to protect its airspace even as he commended the ban on Boeing 737 MAX 8 in Nigeria.
Ashafa, who mourned the death of two Nigerians who died in the Ethiopian airline crash also urged government to ensure that all aircraft’ operating within Nigeria are air worthy in order to keep Nigerians safe at all times.
The senator who made the remarks during plenary from a motion he sponsored and titled “The Sad Demise of two illustrious Nigerians in the recent Ethiopian Airlines crash of 10th March, 2019 and the need for Nigeria to protect its airspace from the Boeing 737 Max 8 series pending the determination of its Air worthiness.”
Ashafa stated further that the two Nigerians who lost their lives were no ordinary citizen as the two of them distinguished themselves in their various fields and till their death were worthy Ambassadors of Nigeria in the Diaspora.
Ashafa observed that it was not the first time that a Boeing 737 Max 8 series aircraft had crashed under similar circumstances. He thereafter commended the Minister for Transportation (Aviation) Senator Hadi Sirika for the restriction placed on the use of the Boeing 737 Max 8 and 9 series aircrafts within the Nigerian airspace pending the outcome of the investigation of the plane crash.
NGO demands open inquest on collapsed Ita -Faaji building
A non-governmental organisation, NGO, Women Empowerment and Legal Aid, WELA, has asked the Chief Judge of Lagos State, Justice Opeyemi Oke, to open an inquest into the tragic death of 20 persons, during the collapsed of a building last week in Ita-Faaji area of the state.
Meantime, former Deputy National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Bode George, has urged the state government to ensure that all those guilty for the building collapse at Ita Faji in Lagos Island be prosecuted.
On the inquest, the Chairperson of WELA, Mrs Funmi Falana, in a letter to the Chief Registrar of the State Judiciary, urged the chief Judge to conduct a coroner inquest in to the building collapse.
Falana said: “In the light of the foregoing, we request you to use your good offices to cause a coroner’s inquest to be conducted into the cause of collapse of the four-storey building at Ita-Faaji area of Lagos Island that led to the death of 18 people on March 13, and make appropriate recommendations pursuant to section 15 of the Lagos State Coroner’s Law 2007 which provides that an inquest shall hold whenever a Coroner is informed that the death “in a violent, unnatural or suspicious situation.
George, speaking during a courtesy visit to the victims at the Lagos Island General Hospital, George said thought, government cannot be everywhere, but those saddles with the responsibility must be held accountable.