Huriwa Logo

Huriwa Logo

Tuesday, 29 October 2013


Mike Onolememen, a professional architect, the current federal minister of Works of the Federal Republic of Nigeria was made a cabinet level member by President Good luck Jonathan soon after the current administration coasted home to victory in the year 2011 general elections.

He immediately came into the general consciousness of the Nigerian reading public when he toed similar line of media showmanship that was created by one of his predecessors who is the current minister of Petroleum [Mrs. Deziani Alison-Maduekwe] when she was made a minister of Works and she drove to the then deteriorated Lagos/Benin/Onitsha Federal Highway and was photographed/videoed in most local electronic and print media while she shaded tears [crocodile or genuine] regarding the bad state of road and promised to fix that road.

She left without doing anything to improve the condition of that terrible road alongside others across the country and especially in the South East and South South geo-political zones thus making most rational thinkers who watched her shed tears to conclude those were mere crocodile tears displayed for purposes of propaganda to score cheap popularity from a largely gullible crowd.

But unlike his female counterpart in the current cabinet, the current minister of woks [stoutly built] did not betray emotion when he visited the seemingly unending construction site at the Abuja/Lokoja federal High way awarded over a decade and several tons of public funds released in their billions without any remarkable progress.

The current minister of works rather than cry like a baby, mustered ‘masculine’ [pardon my use of this word since I am not a male chauvinist] courage and pledged that before long, that bad road alongside many others including those in the South East and the South South geopolitical zones will be fixed.

He also promised equity in the construction of key federal roads to all zones of the country. One year after this public media show which was done during the peak travelling Christmas period of last for maximum publicity, the Federal Government has not only failed to deliver some of these vital and critical road infrastructure but to the chagrin of most Nigerians many more Federal Highways are also abandoned even when the funds required for such roads have either been released to these contractors and these fees required to complete these critical roads like the Arondizuogu Federal Highway abandoned since three decades are much less than a hundred million Naira. At the last count, the media reported that during the Chief Olusegun Obasanjo-led administration, over N300 billion released for construction of federal roads disappeared into private pockets.

Sadly, members of the National Assembly’s committees on Works are either sleeping on their duty or have connived with these dare-devil failed contractors to corner Nigeria’s commonwealth. Sadly, still, the organized civil society is sleeping on their advocacy duty of shouting to high heavens and keeping these failed contractors on their toes until the anti-graft agencies bring them to face the full weight of the law.

Last weekend, I was going through the Nigerian media and one story attracted my attention regarding the comments credited to the current minister of Works on the recently conducted local council election in Edo state whereby the minister who hails from that state was quoted as criticizing the governor Comrade Adams Oshiomhole for working against democracy by frustrating smooth conduct of that election.

I then asked myself what in this word is the business of a federal cabinet minister in charge of a serious beat like the works ministry be doing with the local council election even when the jobs he ought to be doing as a constitutionally assigned federal minister of Nigeria are either half done or left abandoned like the major road I just cited which was abandoned a whole thirty years back and yet these people from Arondizuogu and other densely populated communities voted actively for the current government?   

Same last Week, it was therefore with pleasant surprise that I read a thoroughly investigated story on this Arondizuogu federal High way done by one of Nigeria’s finest national newspapers. I said pleasantly shocked because Nigeria’s newspapers hardly cover activities taking place in Nigeria’s seriously marginalized rural communities.

Mr. Mathias Okwe, an assistant editor [business] of The Guardian newspapers who is originally from Cross River state and works in the Abuja bureau of The Guardian visited Arondizuogu community [my place of birth] and saw for himself the incredible situation of this abandoned federal road and reported that although some releases have been made to the contractors but the said contractor and the federal ministry of works have more or less left the people [including yours faithfully] to their fate and the economy of these once vibrant communities are suffering. Nigerians who have followed my media advocacy over the years would have noticed that I deliberately avoided writing about my neglected community of Arondizuogu just so as not to be accused of parochialism but now that an outsider so to say has focused on the obvious regarding my hometown, charity which ought to begin at home demands that I add my little voice to call on the minister of works to do the needful to salvage the waning image of this government by ensuring that transparent and qualitative job is done on this road.

Mathias Okwe expertly reported thus; "ABANDONED for more than 30 years, the Oba-Nnewi-Arondizuogu-Okigwe federal road has become a nightmare for commuters and a source of concern to the people of Arondizuogu in Ideato North Local Council of Imo State, whose economy has been rendered prostrate due to the poor state of the road".

The road played a key role during the civil war, as illustrated by relics of the Biafra war like the Uga Airstrip and Ojukwu Bunker, which at a time served as the Biafra operational headquarters.

Arondizuogu town, known for its industry, is equally home to some of the brightest brains the South East has produced such as Chief Mbonu, Chief K.O Mbadiwe, Lady Onyeka Onwenu, and the author of the iconic Igbo novel OMENUKO among several other industrialists.

The town is now dotted with relics of a once virile cottage industry and hotels that have wound up due to poor sales attributed to lack of good access roads. Commuters prefer to take alternative routes to adjoining cities like Okigwe down to Cross River and Rivers, though it is a longer route.

Some of the companies that have closed down as a result of the bad road include: Jolly Jones Vegetable Oil, Safari Vegetable Oil, Safari Hotel, Arondizuogu Rice Mill, LNO Obioha Motel and Chimon Hotel Limited.

For a trip that would normally last about 40 minutes, commuters spend over three harrowing hours navigating through broken down vehicles. There is also the fear of attacks by armed robbers and kidnappers, who have suddenly turned the spot into their favourite place to attack hapless citizens. At some spots, passengers have to disembark to allow the vehicle snarl through the deep mud-filled potholes. 

On a recent trip through the route, Mathias Okwe of The Guardian ran into a protest staged by the Arondizougu people to demonstrate against the marginalization of the town by the Federal Government, who they accuse of abandoning the road since construction began in 1982.

They carried placards with several inscriptions, some of which read: Nnewi-Oba-Akokwa-Arondiozogu-Okigwe is now a death trap; Okigwe-Onitsha Road, a blessing or curse? Help us, our industries are dying; Arondiozogu,  are we part of Nigeria?  And we cannot convey our rice to the market, among others.

Leader of the group, the traditional ruler of Ihieme Izuogu community, Dr. Kosmann Ndubuisi Kanu, said: “We have suffered so much on this road. For over 15 years, this project has been ongoing and nothing is being done about it. What we hear is that the president has approved that the project should be completed. We don’t know why the contractor has not moved to site or what is delaying his mobilization”.

“This road is very important as far as Nigeria is concerned. It connects
Cross River, Rivers, Abia, Ebonyi and Anambra states. The president should monitor the project so that the contractor would not vanish into thin air after payment has been made. Five months ago, a trailer load of cement plunged into this place, killing everybody involved due to the bad road.”

Investigation revealed that for 2012, N49 million was appropriated for the project, while this year, a provision of N20 million for engineering design for the same project is contained in the budget.

The Budget Office and the Federal Ministry of Works in Abuja were visited by the reporter to know the status of releases to the contractor, officials were not forthcoming.

Director, Fiscal at the Budget Office, Barrister Etuk explained that the Budget Office does not deal with contractors as it only releases money to the line ministry, in this case the Federal Ministry of Works for disbursement to contractors upon satisfactory completion of projects. 

He explained that the lean provision for projects monitoring was deterring his office from visiting every project. He, however, promised to ensure that the specific project would be monitored in the next quarter monitoring exercise. 

At the Federal Ministry of Works Headquarters, Mabushi, Abuja, the Director, Highways, in charge of the South East, Mr. Godwin Eghieyu, gave insight to the delay of the project but declined to disclose how much had been released to the contractor.

“The project is about 14 kilometre. They have repaired about 4.5 kilometres  on one side, on the other side. The work was not very good and the contractor was told to stop work during the rainy season, because the quality of any work done during the rainy season might not be guaranteed.

The contract was awarded to a firm that was not handling the project to our satisfaction. Due to queries, another firm was brought in to complete the project,” he clarified.

As a son of Arondizuogu I can testify that most rural dwellers are into farming but these bad roads have compounded their economic adversity as they are usually unable to convey their farm produce to the nearest markets and if this current government is particular about agricultural transformation agenda then the Government must as a matter of national urgency attend to these roads.

Can someone please advise the government especially Mr. President to ask his minister of works to face his national assignment and stop his frequent local trips to Edo state to play local politics at the cost of huge public fund. This brings us to the critical question of why the President will use political affiliations rather than merit and competence to determine who emerges as cabinet level ministers. If we ever hope to create a better society, then the President must appoint only statesmen and women into his cabinet and must stop appointing politicians who would milk Nigeria dry and use public fund to pursue their parochial and pedestrian political interest.

+    Emmanuel Onwubiko is Head Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria and     blogs;


Tuesday, 22 October 2013


Gentlemen you are welcome. We are briefing you today about our decision to embark on 6am to 6pm hunger strike which took effect from 6am today and will end tomorrow.
We are protesting the 4 months old strike action by ASUU and the non- challant attitude of the federal government to do the needful to enable public universities to re-open for normal academic activities to resume. We view the prolonged strike as a conspiracy by the elites against the commoners and the poor since 90 percent of the students affected by this shameful industrial action are children of the very poor of the Nigeria society. Children of the rich and the political elites are either schooling in some of the best schools in Europe and the USA or if at all are they are in Nigeria school system   they are usually enrolled in the few highly expensive private universities whereby their parents pay these obscene school fees using financial resources drawn from the public treasury which they are in custody of as political office holders.
Secondly, the closure of these public universities is a total negation of Nigeria’s international obligations in line with the Universal Declarations of Human Rights Articles 26 which states thus; “everyone has the right to education. Education shall be free, at least in the elementary and fundamental stages. Elementary education shall be compulsory, Technical and Professional education shall be made generally available and higher education shall be equally accessible to all on the basis of merit.
Article 26(2) importantly stressed that; “education shall be directed to the full development of the human personality and to the strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. It shall promote understanding, tolerance and friendship among all nations, racial or religious groups, and shall further the activities of the UN for maintenance of peace.
The continuous closure of public universities is a total breach of the right to development and by so doing will deny the Nigerian Youth of their inalienable rights to enjoy economic, social, cultural and political development.
Denial of education as is being perpetrated through the closure of public universities and other educational institutions amounts to a crime against humanity since it is a direct abuse of all the choicest rights enshrined in chapter four of the Nigerian Constitution.       
We hereby call on government to take lawful measures to reopen the public universities even as we urge ASUU to go back to school for the sake of our children.
We acknowledge that it is a serious crime to breach an agreement and we hereby advise that both ASUU and FG should separately constitute legal teams to take position on what legal measures to be adopted to compel government to comply. ASUU may institute legal challenge to question government’s violation of the contract signed since 2009 even as the public universities must be reopened and academic activities commenced while the legal questions are being tackled at appropriate industrial and/or court of competent jurisdiction on its part, FG must adequately fund the educational sector optimally by cutting down on high cost of governance and by adopting the Steve Oronsanye’s report to reduce the number of agencies that do some jobs at exorbitant cost to the Nigerian people.
This is only the first phase of our civil disobedience activity as we will proceed to the next stage if after 14 days the strike is not called off.

* Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko; National Coordinator.  


Thursday, 17 October 2013


Those who are concerned about the systematic killing of the two anti-graft institutions by top governmental officials for their selfish reasons, may not be wrong after all.

Reason: the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), one among the two anti-graft bodies, known for being much more active than its lazy counterpart-the Independent Corrupt Practices and Allied offences commission (ICPC), is reportedly broke and can not pay her huge bills owed to the few private solicitors that perennially handle their cases.
On the other hand, the ICPC which is more or less a toothless bull dog has almost being grounded to a ruthless stop due largely to leadership inertia, incapacity and total lack of charisma on the part of their leaders/hierarchy to wage war against corruption.

Painfully, the near-demise of these strategic publicly funded anti-graft agencies coincided with the period whereby large scale cases of corruption and economic crimes have manifested among public office holders especially in the electricity power sector embroiled with wide spread allegation of under- hand dealings in the ongoing privatization of publicly owned Electricity power firms to some private business persons drawn largely from suspected fronts of top government officials.

Apart from the electricity power sector, another segment of the nation’s economy entangled in corruption and large scale economic crimes is the pension scheme especially the Nigerian police's pension scheme in which cases of theft of over N32 Billion are ongoing at ridiculously snail -speed by the EFCC at various Federal High Courts against top government officials drawn from the office of Head of Service of the federation including a serving permanent secretary in the Nigerian Presidency.

In this piece however, our attention will dwell extensively on the process of privatizing various electricity power plants to private buyers most of whom are allegedly linked to top government officials in the presidency. The wife of President Jonathan and the vice President Mr. Namadi Sambo have both been linked to the company purportedly run by Chief Emeka Offor that reportedly took over the Enugu Electricity Company. They have all but denied these widespread allegations.

One question that has yet to be answered is why these two anti-graft institutions were surreptitiously crippled and rendered incapacitated about the same time that this corruption-ridden transfer of Nigeria’s electricity power firms to the private sector is happening?

Secondly, facts emerged that the power firms belonging to the people of Nigeria were sold by the current government for N404 billion even when collectively these plants gulped N3.2 trillion of tax payers money to fix back to optimal functional shape.

Why should Nigeria sell off these vital electricity power plants at these ridiculous rates even after injecting enormous quantity of public fund to revive and/or modernize them therefore making it look as if they were sold at the laughable rate of two for – One Kobo?  

I ask, which wise man/woman wanting to dispose off his/her old car will almost spend a fortune good enough to purchase a brand new car just so as to fix the old vehicle for the purposes of selling it off at very ridiculous give-away price?  This will surely be termed penny-wise-pound foolish.              
Before providing further and better published proofs of the above claim, let me draw the attention of the reading public that the names of the private sector buyers that have or are now possessing these power plants are the same persons that have featured in virtually all the privatization transactions that have ever happened ever since this widely criticized privatization policy was implemented right from the days of President Olusegun Obasanjo up until the current dispensation.

What the above point demonstrates is that the privatization exercise may be less than transparent even as equity and fair play never took place in the whole scenario.

Now to the important but irritating fact that government spent N3.2 trillion to fix the power plants but sold them N404 billion, one of the nation’s newspapers known for investigative stories- Daily Trust recently published huge volumes of evidence to prove this allegation in its Tuesday October 1st 2013  edition.

In very specific and unambiguous presentation, Daily Trust reports that on the last day of September, 2013 the federal government handed over its spun off power companies to private buyers who paid a total of N404 billion to acquire assets into which investment of over N3.2 trillion was made in the past 14 years. Government presented share certificates and licences to the new owners of six power generation companies and nine distribution firms that reportedly completed payment of their bid amounts.

Those public companies now sold were among the 18 successors of the now moribund Power Holden Company of Nigeria (PHCN).      

PHCN was broken up in a privatization process that is aimed at ending debilitating power shortage in the country, Daily Trust reported.
At least N3.2 trillion (about $ 20 billion) has gone into several power reform programmes in the past 14 years of civilian rule, much of it wasted, so says the newspaper.

The PHCN was split into six generation, 11 distribution and one transmission companies.

All the generating and distributing firms were sold separately for N$2.5 billion (about N404 billion) in total.
A House of Representatives inquiry in 2008-2009 found that at least $15 billion dollars had been spent in the power sector, most of it stolen, with no commensurate result.

So I ask, why the privatization exercise if ultimately the country would have to cough out huge sums of public fund to fix the power firms just so that these favoured private buyers can have them at give -away- prices? This is certainly absurd.

Were the rules governing privatization that complies to global best practices followed and if yes, is the exercise not a total negation of the economic objectives of Nigeria as enshrined in chapter two of the Nigerian constitution which frowns at economically empowering only but few Nigerians at the expense of the greatest happiness of the greater population of Nigeria?  

In his book titled; “Privatization and public good: the rule of law challenge”,Dr. Sam Amadi had as far back as year 2008 warned thus; “Regulation is one process of ensuring that something close to a perfect market exists after privatization. Again, regulation helps to overcome the dangers of privatization, including that privatization may become a process of creating a monopoly or entrenching an unfair market power”. 

If truth be told, the process of selling off publicly owned electricity power plants built at very high rate and later sold at ridiculous amount to same persons in the private sector associated with all the privatization exercises since the last 14 years, is less than transparent and indeed violates relevant section of the Nigerian constitution including but not limited to section 16(2) (c) which provides that "the Nigerian state shall direct its policy towards ensuring that the economic system is not operated in such a manner as to permit the concentration of wealth or the means of production and exchange in the hands of few individuals or of a group”.

Again, section 15(5) of the Constitution provides thus; “The Nigerian State shall abolish all corrupt practices and abuse of power”.
In this instance of privatization of Nigeria’s power plants, there are clear and present danger that under the table dealings took place but sadly the anti-graft agencies that ought to wage anti-corruption war are busy waging administrative lobby to convince both the legislature and the executive arms of government to increase the scope of financial resources to be paid to them to enable them survive. As the late Musc Icon Fela would sing, "Dead body get accident, this is double wahala for dead body and the owner of the dead body". 

Nigeria is at a crossroad and indeed Nigerians have found themselves between the deep blue sea and the hard rock but the citizenry must not go to bed but must actively wage advocacy battle to ensure that those diverting public fund to their private accounts are brought to account for these huge crimes before the competent court of law.

* Emmanuel Onwubiko is head, HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS’ ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA; and;   


Monday, 7 October 2013

By Emmanuel Onwubiko

Before the coming of Ms. Stella Odua as minister of Aviation, the Nigerian Aviation sector was like a hell on Earth because of the frequency of air disasters and other associated impunity that made our nation's airspace to become so notorious in the comity of nations.

A little over a year since her appointment, the current Aviation minister has entered the history book for all the right reasons of transforming or showing the political will to transparently use the resources released by Government to change the face of the nation’s airports. Even the Imo Airport that used to look so derelict has also been positively transformed by the current minister of Aviation who has also ensured that airports from across the geopolitical zones are positively transformed.

She is credited for the successful rehabilitation/remodeling of 22 Airports  even as commentators are of the opinion that in the area of  safety of our nation's aviation sector, the ministry of aviation has for once completed the total rader coverage and those who know say this critical infrastructure necessary for aviation safety  is working because this project has ensured that the Nigerian Airspace is  now covered by Tracon.

This singular achievement eluded more than four aviation ministers under the past President Olusegun Obasanjo's administration who were rather indicted for large scale theft of public fund meant for the upgrading of the safety procedures in the nation's airspace. The current minister should make sure that all those former ministers who stole huge public fund meant for the upgrade of airports facilities are prosecuted and the stolen fund retrieved for the use of the total transformation of our airports.

Importantly, observers say that the Instruments landing system by the Nigerian Aviation Management Agency [NAMA] have all being upgraded  even as effective lightening in Lagos run way 18L has being done just as in the area of Weather information, the Nigerian Meteorological Agency  [NIMET] has successfully installed wind shear alert system.

NIMET installed low level wind shear alert system at the Murtallah Muhammed International Airport which was completed on Tuesday July 12th 2011 and is now operational, according to the Director General Dr. Anthony Anuforom. He also said the installation of theoretical safety devices at the country's airports was a major requirement to qualify for the International civil aviation organization [IAO] audit, adding that with the ongoing installation at Kano and Port Harcourt airports, the country was now better positioned for the ICAO's exercise. 

In the area of accident investigation, I am told that the most upgraded laboratory facilities have now been installed making it possible for the BLACK BOXES to be analyzed in Nigeria by the Accident Investigation Bureau rather than the former practice of flying  Black boxes of accidented airplanes to the United States for analyses.  
To answer the question why air disasters or fear of air disasters still persist in Nigeria in spite of all these bold effort by Ms. Stella Odua to reposition Nigeria's aviation sector, one thing that is certain is that the cobwebs of impunity in the aviation industry are yet to be sufficiently cleaned up and would require greater effort and political will on the part of the current administration. This minister of aviation under the current Federal Government has demonstrated the needed political will to thread even where angels fear to tread and has moved 'mountains' of reactionary forces working against the progress of aviation safety which other ministers before her were too slow to effectively tackle.

Even with the above good points in favor of the current minister of aviation, there are many more imperfections that ought to be tackled headlong. In that instance, we learnt from a manual published by the United States Department of interior, some basic relevant  thoughts to consider in aviation operational safety which I will recommend to the minister of aviation and her team. 

The aviation minister should know that she is now in charge of a sacred trust, the safety of human lives; She must not let undue pressure (expressed or implied) influence her judgment during the performance of this sacred trust.

The minister of aviation  must be able to develop a team in which members must participate and contribute to the safety of the operation and not the current status quo of adoption of fire brigade approach whenever unfortunate incidents happened in the aviation industry such as the two devastating air disasters involving the DANA airlines and the now grounded Associated Airlines.    

The aviation minister must delete false pride, calculated risk, real world and “good enough for government work” from her professional vocabulary and she must not let her actions instill the attitude of competition between pilots or “team members”.

This attitude as aforementioned, according to experts, may alter their performance and compromise  the safety of the operations and the minister must realize that she will not be criticized or stigmatized for any decision she makes which will insure added safety to aviation operations.   

After the perusal of the above safety measures, it is timely to delve into the real issue by observing that these are very interesting times for genuinely gifted and trained writers in Nigeria given that every day brings to reality diverse issues not unconnected with the regime of impunity that reigns supreme in our different spheres of life.

Thursday October 3rd 2013 has just entered political lexicon of Nigeria as a sad day (I am tempted not to use the world ‘Black’ to describe the unfortunate turn of event on that day because I do not associate the Colour Black with misfortune as neo-imperialists and their surrogates in Africa would gladly do).

That Thursday witnessed another unfortunate air disaster which involved the now grounded Associated Airlines – the owners of the airplane that crashed at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Ikeja – Lagos state killing almost 16 persons out of the 20 passengers on board who ironically were conveying to Akure, the Ondo State Capital, the remains of the late former governor of Ondo State Dr. Olusegun Agagu.

The Federal government attributed the grounding of the operational licence of Associated Airlines to some associated cases of impunity which may have led to that sad incident.   
The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority NCAA said it suspended all operations of Associated Airlines but said the operational license remains intact. Then I ask, why stand logic on its head by suspending operations of the Associated Airlines but allow the operational license to remain? It is like saying the body of a person has being removed but the soul remains and in scientific terms this is an impossibility because in logic we know that nothing can both be and not be. 
Fielding questions from journalists at the General Hospital Ikeja, where he paid a visit to injured passengers, the Director General of the Authority, Capt Fola Akinkuotu, announced the suspension of all operations of the airline.
“Associated airlines (their operations) have been suspended by the NCAA. Let me say, for the purpose of clarity:  (when) I say their operations, I mean all the operations of Associated airlines have been suspended by the NCAA. I did not say any certification was cancelled, but all operations.”
Akinkuotu said the aircraft was certified airworthy before the last flight, adding that the continued airworthiness certification of an airplane rests with the airline itself.  The DG stressed that there was nothing contrary to the information provided by the airline.
It is my considered opinion that this statement by the boss of NCAA smacks of recklessness and amounts to another impunity since it was made even before Government concludes investigation into the remote and immediate causes of the unfortunate air disaster. How on earth will the NCAA Director General speak in defense of this ill-fated airlines when facts emerged that the airplane crashed barely three minutes after take off in what has now been speculated to be faulty engine? Ms. Stella Odua must rein in this apparent recklessness and impunity displayed by a key member of her team.
He also added salt to injury by claiming that the insurance company handling the airline has provided documents about the state of its insurance.
This amounts to fallacy of hasty conclusion since the probe of the air crash is yet to be completed and it is a sign of near-compromise for a government institution to now appear to be playing the role of an interested party in this instance when the Government ought to remain an  arbiter between this ill-fated Associated airlines accused of associated impunity and the families of the victims of the unfortunate air disaster. This is another disturbing layer of crass impunity that must be expunged by the minister of aviation because the aviation industry is so critical that any sign of compromise to endanger the lives of passengers should not be allowed.
On another breath, the federal government also announced the suspension of the operations of Dana Airlines owners of the ill-fated commercial aircraft that crashed a little over a year ago in Lagos killing all the passengers on board numbering over 145 persons.
The suspension of the operations of the embattled Dana Airlines was announced by the Nigerian civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) on Sunday night (October 6th 2013), in a two paragraph text message sent to the media reportedly by the coordinating General Manager (PR) for the agencies in Nigeria Aviation Mr. Yakubu Dati.
Government said Dana Airlines’ operations were suspended to enable it conduct an operational audit of the carrier. 
Again Government has committed another impunity by hurriedly allowing DANA AIRLINES to commence operation barely few days after the last crash and even before the DANA AIRLINES paid to the last kobo the insurance cover/compensations of the over one hundred passengers that perished in the last air disaster in Lagos involving Dana flight 992. 
The nature of the time of announcement of the suspension of the operation of DANA AIRLINES for this second time is also nocturnal and suspicious because it happened on a work free day and in the night. Officials of Nigeria's aviation industry must wake up from slumber and comply with global best practices and desist from making our aviation sector a laughing stock in the international community especially at this time that the minister of aviation has won acclaims as a reformer and transformer in the real sense of the words. The aviation industry must not be regulated like gambling institutions but must be administered as highly scientific and sophisticated sector that deals with the important matter of lives and safety of human lives of passengers. To willfully endanger the precious lives of passengers of airlines in Nigeria on the alter of corruption and crass incompetence is a crime against humanity that must not be tolerated.
This writer believes that impunity and corruption are the key causes of the state of insecurity in the Aviation industry even with all the great effort being engineered by the forward-looking Aviation minister Ms. Stella Odua who is credited to have implemented large scale infrastructural transformation of the nation’s once-moribund Aviation sector.
Shortly after that sad incident involving the Indian owned Dana Airlines, the Federal Government relieved the then Director General of NCAA Dr. Harold Demuren of his appointment following series of indictments from the National Assembly.
But the recent air disaster shows that the remnants of impunity in the aviation sector must now be uprooted if Nigerians and foreign travelers within our air space will ever have confidence in the capacity and competencies of the administrators to guarantee the safety of passengers of the Air lines operating locally in the nation’s air ports.
In case we have forgotten, Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia defines impunity as "exemption from punishment or loss or escape from fines". In the international law of human rights, it refers to the failure to bring perpetrators of human rights violations to justice and, as such, itself constitutes a denial of the victims' right to justice and redress. Impunity is especially common in countries that lack a tradition of the rule of law, suffer from corruption or that have entrenched systems of patronage, or where the judiciary is weak or members of the security forces are protected by special jurisdictions or immunities.
We are also informed that the amended Set of Principles for the Protection and Promotion of Human Rights Through Action to Combat Impunity, submitted to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights on 8 February 2005, defines impunity as: "the impossibility, de jure or de facto, of bringing the perpetrators of violations to account – whether in criminal, civil, administrative or disciplinary proceedings – since they are not subject to any inquiry that might lead to their being accused, arrested, tried and, if found guilty, sentenced to appropriate penalties, and to making reparations to their victims."
Nigerian Government must therefore expunge all layers of impunity seen in virtually all segments of our society including the aviation sector that is giving Nigeria bad image internationally with incessant avoidable air disasters. Government in probing the causes of the recent air crashes must be transparent and accountable for these are the basic ingredients of democracy.
Achilleus – Chud Uchegbu a respected journalist who commented on the associated impunity in Associated Airlines which may have occasioned the unfortunate accident had stated thus; “what I have heard of Associated Airlines since last Thursday’s crash are mind – boggling. From tales of unpaid salaries to some unethical practices and hiring of trainee pilots because pilots refused to work on ground of non-payment of salaries and other allowances, to deliberate refusal to service aircraft on account of very poor fundamental status.... "
These tendencies must be probed dispassionately for Nigerian air passengers to be reassured that Government is out to protect their lives.   
 *    Emmanuel Onwubiko; Heads; Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria;;