Not Yet Uhuru In The Aviation Sector


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Not Yet Uhuru In The Aviation Sector




Jide Ayobolu





November 2, 2006


The removal of Dr. Babalola Borishade and his replacement with Mr. Femi Fani-Kayode is a good riddance to irritating rubbish, it is good that at least in the final analysis, the former minister was removed as he has brought a bad omen to the aviation sector with the incessant air disasters, but rather than post him to some other ministry he should have been eased out the system, he is not the only person from Ekiti State that can be a minister, it is very painful and disappointing that Borishade will go on national television and insult the sensibilities of Nigerians, by telling them that he won’t resign, does he want to die in office? How can he make such a terrible remark when several people lost their lives in the ill-fated air disaster, and he was the supervisory minister, it means that Borishade does not care a hoot about the lives of the people of Nigeria, who frequently ply Nigeria airspace, he his more concerned about his post than any other thing. What a shame!

But the president is a very funny man, it is however, good that people can now see through him, there is no doubt that from all indications, Borishade is his man, and he is not happy that people from allover the country are asking him to resign, so, in order that people will say, oh, why didn’t we allow the president to leave Borishade, he went on to pick to pick Femi Fani-Kayode as his replacement. Certainly, there is no doubting the fact that this appointment is nothing but a square peg in a round, Fani-Kayode lacks the needed the experience, the exposure, the understanding, the patience, the humility, the perspicacity and sound judgment to handle a very sensitive sector like aviation. Therefore, without mincing words I make bold to say, he (Fani-Kayode) is not eminently qualified for the position he is newly assigned to.

Out of all the professionals in the country is the president saying that the only person that can man the position is Fani –Kayode? Does the president really understand the magnitude of the problems the sector is faced with? Does he know what it means for Nigerians to continue to lose their loved ones? Does he really appreciate what the incessant crashes have done to the image of Nigeria internationally? Does the president have any human feelings at all? Is the president elected to do suit him, or to do what is the very best for the country? And, like Segun Adeniyi rightly noted, “we are back on familiar turf. A plane will crash, prominent and not-so-prominent Nigerians will die, the Inspector General of Police will, at the crash site, announce that he has found the black box (one hopes he has not picked up another black briefcase). There will be many strange tales by Nigerians of how the same aircraft somersaulted in the air ten times while they were inside a few days before the crash. Some prophets will make claims of how they saw vision of blood or something to that effect. President Olusegun Obasanjo will order comprehensive investigation into what caused the crash. And there will be calls for the aviation minister, Dr Babalola Borishade, to resign from office, a call he would not heed”.

 In a similar vein, Rev. Fr. Felix Ajakaye remarked that, “many times we read and stories about the reforms of Obasanjo administration, but the impact are not felt physically in the society. The aviation industry is not improving, the roads are horrible (traveling through such roads as Lagos to Ibadan, Lagos to Benin has become a nightmare), railway in Nigeria has become history and there lack of provision of social amenities. In short, the existing infrastructure in the country are at present in moribound state. The ADC plane crash has indicated that all is not well in the aviation industry. It needs total overhaul. When the Sosoliso plane crashed in December 2005, many of us called for the removal or resignation of the aviation minister, Babalola Borishade. Nothing happened. Now, another disaster has occurred, and the government is not bothered about the minister. In fact, in an organized society, the minister would have resigned since. We are tired of the continued crocodile tears whenever there is calamity in Nigeria. All the summits being organized by the Obasanjo administration tend to become mere jamborees if things are not done properly. Until we start putting the right people in the right places, no matter their political, religious and ethnic leaning, Nigeria will not progress. Come to think of it, it is known fact that the education ministry lost its focus and identity when Borishade was the minister of education. The ministry then was in series of crisis. I wonder how the same man scaled the screening of the National Assembly (NASS) to be named aviation minister. Now, we are witnessing the result of insensitivity and indifference. Borishade is not an expert in aviation. Since we are in a country where anything can happen, we may not be surprised if the same man is appointed the Attorney-General and minister of justice in future or the health minister”. What a pity! Again, according to Kofi Annan, “the series of crashes and attendant devastating losses call for a critical review of the aviation sector in Nigeria”.

It is also very important to note the very germane observation made by Segun Adeniyi, when he reasoned that, “while we live in a world where air accidents have become facts of life, they have become too frequent here and for clearly avoidable reasons. But the point remains that mob hysteria would serve no useful purpose. What we need are thorough, professional investigations that would draw a circle of confinement around identified danger sources. When we have pinpointed how certain situations were poorly managed, we can then begin to find solutions. That is what we have consistently refused to do in our aviation sector. And that is why we keep having crashes in the air”. There is no doubt whatsoever that the aviation sector in Nigeria is in a shambles, that requires quick and vast attention, the appointment of Fani-Kayode is however, an anti-climax, that will not auger well for the aviation sector.


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