The accident occurred when the chartered airplane conveying Mr. Adeola and chieftains of the ACN including the Deputy National Chairman of the party, Boss Mustapha; and Yusuf Alli, former National Chairman of the All Nigeria Peoples Party; crash landed due to non clearance of the airport runway by airport authorities.
The runway which had been taken over by rams and goats, was not cleared which caused the pilot of the aircraft with number 5BN-BNR to do a forced-landing, damaging the aircraft in the process. The accident occurred at about 12.00noon
Meanwhile, the aircraft conveying the ACN presidential candidate, Nuhu Ribadu, and other leader leaders of the party such as Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu had to hover in the air for about an hour for the runway to be cleared.
The party chieftains were attending the ACN presidential rally scheduled for Bauchi State today.
The Director of Media and publicity of the Nuhu Ribadu Campaign Organisation, Ibrahim Modibbo who confirmed the report condemned said his orgainsation suspected “sabotage”
“We suspect sabotage. And as a matter of urgency we call for an investigation into the immediate and remote cause of the runway invasion,” Modibbo stated..
“If not for the expertise of the pilot, we would probably not be saying what we are saying today.
“Is it possible for President Jonathan who is also the Presidential candidate of the PDP to be involved in such a situation where the runway he is to land on will be filled by rams, which could have been controlled?” Modibbo said
Mr. Modibbo said the Nuhu Ribadu Campaign Organisation was not asking the PDP government to do it a special favour by guaranteeing safety and security in our airports.
“What we are saying is that no life is more important than the other. Before the present PDP government is booted out by the people, they should at least ensure that our airports, our roads , and our towns and villages are safe enough for everyone including our candidates and particularly during this electioneering period,” he said.
ACN presidential candidate Nuhu Ribadu described what happened as an act of God.
“I am not ready to blame anybody for the unfortunate incident but it is not good to allow animals to be passing at the airport so the government should act fast to make the airport a conducive one for planes to land,” he said. Mr. Ribadu blamed Bauchi politicians for bad leadership saying, “Bauchi used to be good before but since the present administration was voted into power, things have changed in the state. They have failed the people, that is why we came to Bauchi to sweep the bad leadership away from Bauchi so that we can take over in 2011 to improve the living condition of the people who are wallowing in abject poverty.”
The state gubernatorial candidate of the ACN, Baba Tela, who also spoke, said that the state governor, Isa Yuguda, had failed to provide quality leadership to the people of Bauchi State.
“Yuguda promised to build an airport in Bauchi, promised to construct independent power project; even the roads he started, he could not finish them. Yuguda has failed to fulfill his electoral promises.”
Harold Demuren, the director-general of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) confirmed the incident and noted that the aircraft had been taken away by personnel from the agency. Speaking further on the development, Sam Adurogboye, media head for the civil aviation regulatory agency disclosed that the airport has been opened for flight operations.
“There was an incursion in the tarmac which led to the incident,” he said. “Our inspectors have been sent to the airport to ascertain the cause of the incident. But the airport has since been cleared and has been opened for flight operations.”
According to reports, a similar situation occurred in 2005 when an Air France plane ran into a herd of cows at the Port Harcourt International Airport, Rivers State. When NEXT contacted Akin Olukunle, the managing director of public affairs for the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), he declined to comment on the incident.
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