I have read some reactions to yesterday’s incident with the Aero Contractors flight that was to take me and other passangers from the Nnamdi Azikiwe International airport, Abuja to the Margaret Ekpo International airport, Calabar.
Some of the reactions ranged from logical, reasonable and some boardering on absurdity. I am a firm believer in the fact that people are entitled to their opinion about everything they have reasonable information and facts about.
Months back when there was an uproar about the cancellation of the maiden Cally-Aero Flight and another flight into Calabar, I was one of those who said that it was normal to cancel flights and that the cancellation of that maiden flight and the subsequent one should not be held against the owners of the airline. I mean it is safer to cancel flights if in the opinion of the operators it will be wrong to put the lives of people on the line, it will also be proper not to land if for any reason the weather is so bad that the pilot ought not to risk landing the aircraft in such a weather and so proper to take passangers back to their take off point.
Now this was not the case yesterday the 20th of September,2021, what happened ought ordinarily not to have happened.
Apart from the late delay in take off of the operating aircraft, the airline did not leave with majority of the luggages of the passangers, they promised to bring them the next morning because the aircraft was small and so it would be unsafe to fly with all our luggages.
Note that the airline we boarded from Abuja was an Aero Contractors airline and not the one said to be owned by the government of Cross River State.
Now we where about 20 feet from the tarmac when the pilot was denied landing and so he suddenly was forced to switch from landing mode to the lift mode. It is said that about 60 percent of air accidents occur during take off and so ordinarily pilots are said to be extra careful during those times and so do not blame those who were on that aircraft and who experienced what happened for reacting the way they did!
All of that madness ought to have been avoided because the explanation that the pilot gave was that by the time he got there it was sunset and so he was denied landing meaning those on ground had shut down their operations.
Like I said last night, this would have been avoided. The reason we didn’t land was not due to bad weather, it was not due to a problem with the aircraft or competence of the pilot, in fact Captain Olanipekun did a good job of taking us safely back to Abuja which earned him an ovation when we landed. In fact it is the same Aero Contractors airline and pilot that brought us back to Calabar this morning the 21st of September, 2021. If what happened today had happened yesterday it would have made sense. This morning the pilot couldn’t land at the first attempt and had to lift to try a second approach due to very bad weather, I enjoy sitting by the window and unlike yesterday, I couldn’t even make out the tarmac or see anything until we were almost landing.
We as a people must not accept and explain away mediocrity and incompetence, we must not always rush to defend what is wrong simply because we are part of or benefit from the bad system like the sympathizers of the Ayade administration are trying to do in their assumption that it was a Cally-Aero airline that was involved in the incident, I refuse to open my mouth and allow crap forced down my throat and I rise above every attempt at shaming those who are speaking against a poor judgment of operators of an airline just because some people feel so insecure and afraid of criticism.
It is noteworthy that the Cross River State government is not in charge of the airport, it is the Federal Government that is and so the blame ought not to be at the doorstep of the governor or government of the state. If anyone should be blamed it should be the management at the Margaret Ekpo International Airport who denied the landing of the aircraft. I mean what happens to an airplane that is in trouble and needs to do an emergency landing at the airport as the nearest on on her raider? Would they allow the airline crash just because they have to shut down? That airport is said to be an international airport, which international airport shuts down?
Let’s stop this our madness of supporting a wrong thing just because of the food we are eating from the table. You do not know what may happen to you or your family member due to the incompetence, negligence and poor judgment you are supporting today. Acts that have caused countless deaths and pain in our country
Let’s speak up and demand that as a people we would accept nothing less than the best. That is the only way we can make the country better for our children.
That said I am happy to be back home in my state for my brother’s funeral.
My name is Efa Oka and I am sharing #JustMyThoughts.
Efa Oka, a legal practitioner writes in from Calabar, Cross River State.
NB: Opinions expressed in this article are strictly attributable to the author, Efa Oka and do not represent the opinion of CrossRiverWatch or any other organization the author works for/with.
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