Sunday, December 11, 2005

The Deadly Nigerian Airspace

There is tragedy in the land again; I write this blog posting with a heavy and saddened heart. Once again, Nigeria, my home country, is under a heavy cloud of sorrow and anguish following another airliner crash at Port harcourt, a city in south east Nigeria. The plane crashed, according to news report while attempting to land at the city’s airport on Saturday December 10, 2005. At least 101 souls perished in the crash. some of the casualties were some 50 children, between ages 10 and 16, returning home for the Christmas holidays.

Many families are still grieving following the 117 lives lost in an earlier airliner crash on October 23 of this year, then this happened. It is grief-time all over again.

The incessant and unnecessary loss of lives in Nigeria is nothing but appalling. This is a nation where thousands die each year from preventable causes like poor access to health care, and traffic accidents such as these airliner crashes. Just as it is with land travel in Nigeria, the aviation facilities and airliners in use are poorly serviced, or too old to be put to any save use.

Some disasters are simply unpreventable, in Nigeria there appears to be one common factor to all these incidents- a corrupt and redundant bureaucracy. Corruption breeds redunancy and ineptitude in the system, and it is responsible for the moribund, decayed and disinvested national infrastructures. It has overwhelmed the education, health, and power sectors, now it seems it has seized the aviation industry in a deadly hug. As the Nigeria mourns once again and prepares to bury the dead, how many more will die before the nation is rid of this canker worm?