Thursday 14 June 2012

State Of Mind

I was too stunned, confused and shocked to write anything last week. On the first of June I was at home trying to make a decision whether to go to Lagos from Abuja on Saturday the 2nd or Sunday the 3rd. I had two events on Saturday that I really did not think I had the energy for, seeing that I just finished filming my short film "When Is It Enough". I just wanted to rest on Saturday and then head to Lagos on Sunday because I was to co-host the Miss Global beauty pageant.

Truth is I finally made up my mind to go on Sunday so that I could rest on Saturday. So Saturday morning came and I packed my suitcase with clothes for just the Sunday event and for my trip to America. I also tried to call my agent to book my flight to Lagos the next day Sunday with Dana because it became my favorite airline. I even made friends with the staff and their pilot. The network was so bad that I could not reach my agent. Then I got a call from my friend and brother Lamboghinny who told me to try and come to Lagos so I could at least honor a friend of ours at their wedding that Saturday. I also got a call from my partner Daniel who urged me to also attend an award so I could help him pick up his award should he win. These are two people I respect so much so I hurriedly carried my suitcase without taking any extra dress for the events of that day, and went straight to the airport. I realized that the Dana flight for that day was too late and since I wanted to go for the two events I decided to go with IRS which was very rare.

Anyway I got to Lagos and immediately called two of my friends "Olan and Exquisite Boutique who had stores to send some clothes to my hotel so I could pick something to wear for that evening. Luckily I found something and went for my events. Saturday ended so well and I was looking forward to the next day so I could perform my duties. Everything went on well that Sunday till it was an hour before the show, I finally saw my co host "Uncle Israel" who was apologizing for not showing up earlier. He looked so distraught and very confused as he kept shaking his head. I was a bit worried because we had to host the show together so I asked him what the problem was and that was how I heard about the fatal crash of the airline that I was supposed to take on the day I wanted to travel, with the same friendly crew I wanted to see again. I was in so much shock that I didn't know what to say or think and I blanked the information out for a few minutes. That did not last for long because my phone started buzzing every second with family and friends who knew Dana was my preferred airline and who also knew I was supposed to be in town from Abuja. I still did not get the full picture till my mother called me crying and saying that even though she had heard from my sisters that I was okay she just wanted to hear my voice after she saw the report and clip on CNN. Then when people started sending different names and pictures of people on the flight to my BB, I froze.

In all of this I had to go on stage and pilot an event so I had to pull myself together. My co host and I did our best to be strong because most of the people in the audience did not even know what was going on at that time so we just asked them to observe the one minute silence. As the event progressed I saw some people running outside with their phones on their ears, so yes, I knew that the information had started spreading. 
After the show I went to my hotel with a couple of friends and I broke down into a state of depression.
First thing that came into my mind was the State of Mind of the people on that flight the moment they realized they were going to crash.
I asked myself "what could they have been thinking?"  "would they have all been shouting Jesus, Jesus?"   “The people that had their children with them, would they be crying for themselves or for the lives of their children whom they could not save?"  “What does it feel like to face death in that manner and be helpless?
All sorts of questions came to my mind. Then I thought "what about those people who did not buy tickets, who did not board any flight, who did not even leave their homes, who just wanted to rest on Sunday and prepare for work or school, who did not go out looking for anything?” After that I started thinking of what some Pastors said during the time of Pastor Bimbo Odukoya and that got me so angry. One of them actually said “Well, Let God's will be done, it was their time and as God gives so shall he take". That was the most insensitive thing I have ever heard. So I wondered what they would say now knowing that these people did not have to die if not for the greed, negligence, incompetence, lack of value for lives, property and inhumanity in the whole system.

As we have heard and discovered, there was already a complaint about that aircraft but the Pilot was still asked to fly the plane.
Let me ask you "will shutting down Dana and giving the families money, bring back these people who died unnecessarily?” if you had to fly within Nigeria now, wouldn't you think twice and say extra prayers before you board? , If there is any small turbulence would you not get paranoid and start to mumble blood of Jesus under your breath?
I got a broadcast from an aviation magazine and I think I should share this with you so you know exactly what we are dealing with here.

"Contrary to the Federal Government's promise to release information from the black box about the crashed Dana aircraft and the flight records of previous crashes to the public, investigation shows that the promise might not be kept. The June 3rd Dana air crash, which killed 153 passengers on board in Iju, Ishaga, Lagos, had provoked public demand for the release of the black boxes of aircrafts that crashed in the past. But the Commissioner and Chief Executive officer of Accident Investigation Bureau, Captain Muhtar Usman, in an interview said that such demands would not be met going by the conventions of the International Civil Aviation Organisation, which Nigeria had ratified.
 However, he said the practice had been for the AIB to use part of the information to write its report, but would not wholly release the details as contained in the flights records.
He said "there is an international convention of the ICAO preventing us from publishing the information from the black box the way it is. We can use the information to write our report, but not to publish it the way it appears. We have adopted ICAO rules"
The implication of this is that Nigerians might not fully know the cause of the Dana flight tragedy"

After reading this broadcast message I shook my head and cried just a bit because once again Nigerians will blow hot air and react, rally, demand for answers, talk and shout but in a matter of weeks it all dies and goes away. This happens because we were not directly affected by this but I refuse to accept that. I am directly affected because I am Nigerian and I feel the pain of those related to the 153 people. I am affected because it could have been me or my family. I am affected because shutting down the airline and giving money does not guarantee that this will not happen again. I don't even want to go over that list that shows you how old our aircrafts are because it will make me even more paranoid. Where is that done? When countries reject their aircrafts because of old age and engine malfunctions, NIGERIA buys them off to transport its citizens. So regardless of what the black box reports are, or how much these families are paid, we are still not safe at all.

Truth is that when things like this happen, after a few days of crying and lamenting we all move on with our lives. After all I have been informed that a whole family coming to attend a wedding was wiped out in the crash but the wedding still went ahead with everybody celebrating and smiling like nothing happened. At the end of the day even the affected family moved on quickly with their celebrations.
A few days after that we got the report that a flight that was supposed to land in Abuja had to turn to Lagos because the lights went out on the runway.

How much of this will happen before we realize that we are all walking time bombs just ticking.
When I say Nigeria is blessed you might not understand. I say this because it does not take rocket science to know that it is only God that has been protecting us. With the issues we face in our country it is amazing how we survive each day. From air travel, to bad roads that cause accidents, to the kidnapping, to the bombing, to the rape, to domestic violence, to killing boarding students, to the looting of our hard earned money, to fraud, to armed robbery and so on.
How many of these are being resolved the way they should be? How many of the offenders are brought to book for us to see? How many of the victims get justice? How many of these things can we confidently say were handled by the government and the law that made us feel safe.
All this in my head and I still wonder why I love my country so much, I still wonder why I believe that Nigeria will survive, I still wonder why I am confident that we are the best in the world, I still wonder why I believe that God's hand is upon Nigeria.

My State of mind right now is unimaginable but in all of this I know that God has a plan and I really can't wait for it to start manifesting and come to pass in my lifetime.

Quote: Remember the REDEMPTION SONG by Bob Marley. Start listening from "Emancipate yourself from mental slavery".
God save Nigeria.


  1. Nicely said and well written!
    I will add that "Change comes to those are ready for the change they desire"
    It starts with the people changing their state of mind and their value system. Everything in 9ja is now measured in $, pound, naira, etc. Most believe that as long as the money keeps flowing, it is business as usual no matter what, even if lives are lost. I just returned from Nigeria on March 1st back to the US and i flew into Benin, Abuja, Lagos, PH, and Owerri airports. The facilities at each airport is an eye sore, coupled with lack of power to make your waiting period at the airport comfortable and when u board either Arik, Air Nigeria, Dana or IRS, you just have to hope that the 45 or so minutes flight is not your last on earth.I don't know what it will take to change the consciousness of those of in charge to affairs in Nigeria to fix thing the right way and the mindset of the the general population. Imagine, how long it took to get to the accident site, no motorable roads, and even when the fire fighters came, they ran out of water!!!
    God has already given us the tools necessary to develop the country, we cannot no longer rely on "God dey" and na "God go Save" Nigeria, when the people are not ready to save themselves.
    The pikin wey go pass exam need to read first before God go answer him prayer based on effort wey e take read and understand the basics of the test requirements and how e take answer the questions for the exam!!!

    Austin Ezeoyibo
    Your Facebook friend

  2. May the souls of the departed RIP


  4. hmmmm....what shall we say. Indeed so many things are odd in our dear motherland. One fact remains, until we start having VALUES FOR LIFE, things will not change. The value for life makes us understand the necessity of provding basic ammenities of life for people to live in to survive. In a country where we don't regard its necessary to provide good road, light, water, health facility, accomodation and feeding for the people talkless of providing good planes to fly its citizen, we should know, we are far behind from modern civilization. Even in europe, they take care of animals talkless of human. Where do we now stand? hmmmmmmmm........

  5. After the plane crash that happened on June 3rd, i thought, which plane crash in Nigeria that had occured in Nigeria have ever, i mean ever been investigated and the root cause of the crash been identified so as to guide against another disaster. I watch air crash investigation disaster on DSTV and i amaze at how much investment and time they take to unravel the mystery of an air crash disaster and come out with a new policy to guide against such occurences... it only shows one thing i said early "WE HAVE NO VALUE FOR LIFE". God help us.

  6. This makes me so sad and also so angry. We need to demand more from our government. Here's a petition my sis and friends started, lets speak up n stand up for ourselves. Sign the petition and pass along please


  8. Stella Dear, your life today is a testimony,who will ever recover from the shock of that fatal crash[DANA AIR] in Nigeria.Eachtime i get a reminder of that day's horro, tears roll down my eyes.What a curel way to die'Imagine the bright future, brains and intellectualism in them that have been wasted within 20minutes''No one could help them or recuse them.MY humble questions to all these horrible nightmares in Nigeria are : Why are innocent souls involved in all these deadly mishaps?,bOKO haram w bombing here and there, Niger delta militant kidnaping wrong people,Petrolum explosions,Road Accidents consuming people all because of bad roads, flood disasters, Air crash only to innocent people. why?, where are we going as a Nation?coruption has killed Nigeria. where is our socalled leaders? They are all corupt,Either Efcc arresting politicians,leaders today for fraud,tomorrow will be international fruad,and this is what we read and see daily.Imagine sweet home is no longer safe again...OH'' NIGERIA WHY? MAY GOD FORGIVE US ALL AND HELP US.

  9. Nigeria my country, most of our faults are more pardonable than the means we use to conceal them. and we dont value live's of our brothers and sisters until sickness comes.we are a funny bunch, we humans. we have an image in our minds of who we would like to think we are, of who we want our mates to be, of the environment in which we live, of our whole reality. We have ideas of how things "should be,could be, would be if only. the truth of the matter is that none of our ideal images match up to reality perfectly. Of course they don't. Often times, however, the gap between our reality and our illusion is so big that we would rather live in the illusion than face the reality. this causes big problems.