‘WE’LL NEVER FORGET YOU’: Jonathan’s assurance on DANA 153 as nation remembers victims of tragic air crash

Posted by News Express | 4 June 2013 | 4,508 times

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The Nigerian leader, President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, has given an assurance that the country would never forget victims of last year’s DANA Air crash in the country’s former capital, Lagos.

He gave the assurance yesterday while unveiling a Cenotaph in memory of all those killed in aviation accidents in Nigeria on the first anniversary of the DANA Air crash.

“They will never be forgotten,” Jonathan vowed at the solemn ceremony at Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja, the Nigerian capital. He promised to ensure safer skies in Africa’s most populous country.

Below are the President’s words: “Precisely, on this day, one year ago, the tragic crash of Dana Air Flight 992 occurred in the suburb of Agege, Lagos, minutes before it would have landed at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport. All 153 persons on board and 6 others on the ground lost their lives.

“It was a monumental tragedy for the nation. I recall my deep anguish, shared by the entire country, when I was informed of the accident. A day later I visited the scene to see for myself.

“The Nigerian family continues to mourn all those who lost their lives in this unfortunate accident. We commiserate with their families and loved ones, especially on the first anniversary of that terrible tragedy. 

“We also feel and share the same sense of profound loss for the victims of all the other aviation accidents that have occurred in this country.

“Today, I want to say to all my country men and women and the entire world, that we will make our airspace safe. In this regard, I reiterate our determination to do everything humanly possible to prevent the re-occurrence of these unfortunate tragedies.

“In the aftermath of the Dana Air Crash, additional safeguards to enhance overall safety of flying in Nigeria were immediately put in place. You will recall that the Minster of Aviation, with my approval, appointed a Technical and Administrative Review Panel comprised of highly qualified and experienced industry professionals, to review the operational, technical and managerial practices that existed in all airlines who operate domestically. The assignment of the Panel was separate from that of the statutory investigation of the accident carried out by the Accident Investigation Bureau. 

“The Panel was established to uncover any contributory systemic lapses that may have existed in the industry so that they could be speedily addressed to enhance the overall safety of Nigeria’s aviation industry. In its report, the Panel made a number of recommendations. Those recommendations have all been implemented by the Ministry of Aviation.

“In the meantime, the National Aviation Policy was reviewed with the view to further strengthening the safety and operations of the various categories of aviation businesses. The new policy was approved by the Federal Executive Council last week.

“Aviation safety is key. With every incident, new lessons are learnt and no effort is being spared to further enhance the safety net. 

“Ladies and Gentlemen, we are gathered here today to unveil the Cenotaph in memory of all those who have died in aviation accidents in the history of our country. This monument is a symbol of our respect for all of them. They will never be forgotten. It is also a perpetual reminder and a demonstration of our resolve to do everything humanly possible to ensure that similar tragedies never occur again in this country.

“Let this unveiling event today symbolise the turning of a page and the closure of a painful chapter in our history.  Let it represent our resolve to maintain maximum vigilance in the safety regulation of our aviation industry.

“Vigilance must be our watch word. We must remain vigilant in our safety oversight responsibilities. We must never let up. We all have a duty to look to the future and build a viable, prosperous, safe and secure aviation industry that each and every one of us feels confident to patronise and which serves our country well.

“Ladies and Gentlemen, it is with solemnity that I now proceed to unveil this Cenotaph in the memory of every single victim of every single aviation accident in the history of Nigeria.” 

Photo shows Jonathan laying a wreath at the DANA Air crash cenotaph.

Source: News Express

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