Less than a week after a fatal air crash that resulted in the death of more than 160 people, the Nigerian aviation sector on Friday evening has again given cause to ask big questions over its safety.
Yesterday, the runway lights at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Airport failed, preventing the landing or taking off of aeroplanes. All international flights scheduled to touch down in Abuja were, as a result, re-routed to Lagos.
An Aero Contractors flight from Port Harcourt had to return to the Garden City. A passenger on that flight, Olaitan Hamza said, "We got to Abuja, but the light refused to come on, so we hovered while they fiddled with them. We finally had to return to Porth Harcourt after being in the air for over two hours."
Also, a Lufthansa flight from Malabo in Equatorial Guinea was routed to Lagos. Other flights routed to Lagos were Air France and British Airways flights. The straned passengers were reportedly offered accommodation for the night in Lagos.
Blackouts at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport have become commonplace, as there have been at least three such incidences this year alone.
In February, a British Airways flight from London landed at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja in darkness, and it was reported to the minister for power, Professor Barth Nnaji by the minister for agriculture, Akinwunmi Adesina, who was on the flight.
There was a similar occurrence the following month, with authorities failing to fully convince passengers on whether the blackouts were due to outage of power from the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) or from generator malfunctioning or internal faults with the airport’s lighting system.
Our sources can disclose that another air mishap was narrowly averted at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Airport, Abuja, Friday, when the run way lights went off, thus making it impossible for planes to either take off or land. Consequently all planes scheduled to land
in Abuja have been re-routed to Lagos. Specifically, Lufthansa flight that took off from Abuja to Malabo, earlier in the day was routed to Lagos. Also, an Air France and British airways were rerouted, thus leaving many passengers stranded.
Effort to reach Stella Ogiewonyi, Nigeria’s aviation minister were unsucceful, several phone calls placed to her, rang unanswered. Neither did she acknowledge or respond to ourtext messages.
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Jonathan Goodluck Ebele led government is not a faithful government, he is politic to enrich himself and his family. It is a disgrace to us Nigerians abroad to hear this nonsense, light is off in our airports, SHAMEFUL.
it is people like you moses o. Famuyiwa, that when they give you work to do you will eat the money and call on your boss,people incharge of that should be sacked and stop calling on Jonathan Goodluck Ebele, he is not your mate
now your taking , the minister should be the person to answer, not everything we will start calling mr president
It is not really a big news for lights 2 go off in our airports, it is now big news after the wasting of 160 lives last weekend and government is reacting becos it affected dem. Where I stay in Shomolu and for most part of Lagos there has not been lights for years now. It makes me 2 wonder if Obasanjo's government is not better than GEJ. Am begining to believe there are spiritual forces responsible for our quagmire in this country. Someone more spiritual and obviously very powerful will be the only saviour becos it seems from experience GEJ cannot solve our problem.....God help 9ja....