The Nigerian Senate today, 19th March 2019 mourned the death of two Nigerians who died in the Ethiopian airline crash of 10th March 2019. The Senate equally resolved on the need for Nigeria to protect its airspace from the Boeing 737 MAX 8 Series while also ensuring that all aircrafts’ operating within Nigeria are air worthy in order to keep Nigerians safe at all times.
The Senate resolution flowed directly from a motion titled “The Sad Demise of two illustrious Nigerians in the recent Ethiopian Airlines Crash of 10th March, 2019 and the need for Nigeria to protect its airspace from the Boeing 737 Max 8 series pending the determination of its Air worthiness”. The Motion was sponsored by Distinguished Senate Gbenga Ashafa, representing Lagos East in the Senate and Chairman Senate Committee on Land Transport.
Ashafa moved the motion expressing sadness that Nigeria lost two illustrious citizens in the crash. He was quoted as saying thus “Notes with great sadness that two illustrious Nigerians were among the 157 people who lost their lives in the ill-fated Ethiopian Airlines flight ET – 302, which went down near Bishoftu a community roughly 60 kilometers southeast of the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa.
Notes that the said late distinguished Nigerians aboard the flight were Ambassador Abiodun Bashua, a former United Nations and African Union, Deputy Joint Special Representative in Darfur, Sudan and Professor Pius Adesanmi, a Professor of Literary Arts in Carleton University, Ottawa Canada, and a popular advocate for good governance”
The Senator went on further to intimate the Senate that the two Nigerians who lost their lives were no ordinary citizen as the two of them distinguished themselves in their various fields and till their death were worthy Ambassadors of Nigeria in the Diaspora.
Ashafa observed that it was not the first time that a Boeing 737 Max 8 series aircraft had crashed under similar circumstances. He thereafter commended the Minister for Transportation (Aviation) Senator Hadi Sirika for the restriction placed on the use of the Boeing 737 Max 8 and 9 series aircrafts within the Nigerian airspace pending the outcome of the investigation of the plane crash.
In their contribution to the Motion, Senator Mao Ohuanbunwa and Minority Leader, Senator Biodun Olujimi expressed their sadness over the death of the two Nigerians, while also commending the Minister of State for Transportation for the restriction on the use of the Air craft. Both Senators agreed on the need for Nigeria to own its own National Airline to be able to monitor and regulate its use.
The senate along with the resolutions made observed a minute silence in honour of the two deceased.