Thursday, June 14, 2012

Let He Who is without Sin Cast the First Stone

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It is almost two weeks after the Dana Air crash and I can finally pull myself together to blog about it. Call this post late, but I do feel the need to share my thoughts.
Although I didn’t lose any relative or close friend thankfully, I was quite shaken because unlike the Sosoliso and Bellview plane crashes of 2005, the Dana Air crash had someone who was connected to someone who was either a relative or a friend.
Here’s what I mean - we lost a corp member at my office, my sister-in-law’s dad lost his business partner, one of my classmates lost a friend, another classmate lost two colleagues, my friends lost friends and it goes on and on and on. It is for this reason that I was therefore shaken.


The reality is that it could have been anyone. More so, I flew back from Calabar to Lagos on 2 June while some of my colleagues who were Abuja bound had hoped they had a Dana Air (which seemed to be on time) ticket as we waited at the Calabar airport for the Arik Air aircraft to arrive from Lagos, take them to Abuja and return to Calabar to pick up myself, other colleagues and passengers to Lagos. To cut a long story short and not leave you confused, our 12.45pm flight eventually became a 4.10pm flight. And so when I heard of the plane crash the next day, I was thankful but also reminded that it could have been anyone of us.
For three nights I couldn’t find sleep as my mind roamed in search of answers to several speculations in the news about the crash. Amidst my insomnia, it occurred to me that the reason why I probably didn’t feel the loss from the Sosoliso and Bellview crashes was the fact that I wasn’t quite as advanced as I am now in my career. As at that time, I traveled by air sparingly and didn’t value human capital as much as I do today. Going by the socio-economic situation in Nigeria, I believe it would be safe to guess that most of the people onboard the Dana Air plane where young professionals and entrepreneurs probably between the ages of 25 and 45 years; the implication - shattered dreams and wasted lives of potential leaders of Nigeria. People who would have provided solutions to some of our societal problems, and probably even employers contributing to the GDP of our nation. A huge loss to a developing country like Nigeria with an almost non-existent middle class I must say!
The second significant issue for me was the looting that took place at the crash site. I still cannot fathom it. It just validated my sentiments in an earlier post in 2010 titled: Corruption in High Places. My position then was simple. I had stated that corruption is in every one of us while we continue to point accusing fingers at the government. We are largely about what we can rip-off the next person but do it at varying degrees.
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I am saddened at our degenerating values and keep wondering where we missed it. I know I will stir up a huge debate with this issue of every Nigerian being corrupt but let all who read the earlier post on corruption and are without sin cast the first stone!

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