Air mishap averted at Calabar airport.

What would have been another air disaster in
the aviation sector in Nigeria was on Saturday
afternoon averted as the ARIK aircraft with
registration number 5N-MJE developed fault at
take off at the Margaret Ekpo International
Airport Calabar, Cross River State.
The flight which was scheduled for take- off to
Abuja at 11 am with about 100 passengers on
board eventually made several efforts to take off
at about 2 pm but could not as the sensor of the
aircraft was said to have developed fault.
The aircraft officials refused to give information
on the aborted flight but irate passengers told
Vanguard that they were subjected to suffering
and uncertainty as no one was ready to provide
them with details about the nature of fault and
when the flight would take off or an alternative
flight would be provided.
One of the passengers of the aircraft and Head
of Department, Political Science of University of
Calabar, Dr Felix Akpan said the Arik officials
were insensitive and inhuman.

He said, “I suspect the flight had developed
problem before it came here and I also suspect
the aircraft only managed to land that was why
it took them so long to ask us to board.”
According to him, the passengers waited for
several hours before they were asked to board
and that “certainly means that they had
something they did not want us to know thank
God for the pilot who is a white man if he were a
black man for fear of losing his job he would
have attempted to fly then take the aircraft and
crash somewhere and kill us.”

Dr Akpan said he would not board the aircraft
even after the engineers of the company “come
here and fix the problem as we are being told.”
Another passenger, Engineer Nicholas Agumuo
said they had all boarded and were waiting for
the aircraft to take off but “the aircraft remained

stationery and later the door was opened and
the ladder was brought back and one of the
passengers had to alight and we followed him.”
A passenger who said she was going to Abuja to
catch a flight to London, Madam Okon said she
would sue Arik if they failed to make refunds to
her and make arrangement for her to get to
London.

“I cannot believe it that these people can keep
us here for several hours without food or
refreshment. Else where they would have given
us some refreshment because this is not our
fault.”
Sam Bassey, an estate surveyor who led the
protest to Arik office after waiting for so long
without information from Arik officials said “One person will tell us one thing and another will, tell
us another thing which is all lies.”
He accuse the Arik officials of insensitivity and
lack of interest in the welfare of their
passengers.

“This is past five and I have been here since
9am if I had taken road I would be reaching at
Abuja by now. “
The Arik Manager when persuaded to explain
what happened refused to disclose his name
said it was against the company’s rules to
disclose information to non officials of the
company.

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