Monday 22 October 2012

Nigeria: Frankly, they don't give a damn

Odium and rottenness
This morning, incandescent with rage could not begin to describe my emotion as I read another news story from Nigeria that just makes your heart sink.
The Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) in the weekend named Dana Airline the Best Domestic Carrier for 2011 in Nigeria. [The Guardian Nigeria - Dana Airline wins FAAN award.]
There were so many things wrong first with the timing of the award and then the award itself before we look at the justification given for making this award.
Too flawed for comment
The first question that came to mind was how an award for 2011 could only be made 10 months into the following year. One would think year awards like this would have been made the previous year like 2010 so that it serves as a pointer to the service to be expected rather than the year after as if it were made retrospectively giving no indication of the service to expect afterwards – the whole concept was fundamentally flawed.
As it transpired, despite being the best domestic airline for 2011, on the 3rd of June, 2012 within an hour of take-off for a flight lasting no longer than 1 hour in clear and good weather two engines of a supposedly well-maintained aircraft in Dana Airline’s fleet failed and with that 153 lives perished in a Lagos suburb apart from lives lost on the ground, along with the loss of livelihoods and property.
Why? O Why?
The toughest questions as to why this happened are yet to be properly answered, compensation has not been fully paid, due process and justice have not yet been served and much else that would make Nigerians seriously wary of air travel looks like boarding flying coffins.
It is in the light of this that the FAAN decided to shower accolades on Dana Airline. Now, until that day, there probably were good enough grounds for praising and rewarding Dana Airline, they seemed to tick every box that made for customer satisfaction even at the barest minimum for Nigerians though it is doubtful such will compare to service one would expect of more savvy and sophisticated airlines.
However, after that air crash it should have not been too much to expect the FAAN officials to be more considerate and understanding of the changed times and circumstances that cancelling the ceremony for award for its lateness and then the circumstances would have won widespread support and appreciation.
These are no human-beings
Sadly, we have been misguided by the belief that some sense of humanity, empathy, compassion and heart exists in these people who appear in human flesh but are habitations of the hellish evil and heartlessness of demonic influence unable to apprehend and comprehend the Zeitgeist.
So, FAAN’s Regional General Manager, Mr. Chris Bature had this much to say, “Mode of selection includes passenger capacity, frequency of the landing and take-off, their response to payment of bills. Among the domestic carriers, they were the best. They had the best volume, they were punctual in their operations.
The brazenness of it all
All of this would have been acceptable until the moment a distress call was made before the crash. Between a mockery of our intelligence and spitting on the graves of the victims, he went on to suggest the award was made after Dana Airline’s licence was restored, as if to say we now have to move on from the yet unresolved issues around that air crash.
In justification of the award he suggested, “In all fairness, they did their best and we need to recognise that and encourage them to get back to their feet.” And as if the intelligence of all concerned had not been insulted enough he lamented over the loss of lives occasioned by the crash, stressing that the operator visited and commiserated with the families of the deceased.
Cry all you like
I would hate to read this as crudely as it sounds, but I doubt I would be remiss in thinking what was suggested here was a visitation and commiseration to families of those who by all intents were unlawfully killed probably by negligence on the part of the whole of the chain of command that allowed for this completely avoidable air crash to happen was complete enough as to let bygones be bygones for Dana Airline has to return to the business of God forbid the floating of flying coffins again.
What is more horrible about this utterly reprehensible and repugnant affair is that it is so indicative of the “I don’t give a damn” in Nigeria attitude that the President voiced months ago to the general populace.
A lack of interest, concern and more seriously conscience seems to be the bane of Nigeria and it could easily be the reason we have endemic corruption, unaccountable leaders, the absence of infrastructure, the terrorism and the security issues amongst other problems in Nigeria because every institution with responsibility and duty does not give a damn about what they do or how they are perceived and because of this they act with impunity with no threat of consequence.
The brazenness of it all is breath-taking and if after this we are not as infuriated enough to take Nigeria back from the unconscionable grip of these kakistocrats in officialdom, we will be forever doomed because frankly my people, they just don't give a damn.

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