So Far On The '£40-fuel' Air Nigeria Flight From Gatwick By Lekan Fatodu
I have finally gotten my bags from Jimoh Ibrahim's Air Nigeria which is still the most shocking and embarrassing experience in my many years of air travel.
Expectedly, the bags, just like those belonging to a few other passengers, made its forced-arrival with signs of damages and some personal items missing.
While some mothers were crying over their lost valuables in the disorganized heap of luggage at the baggage-claim area of Lagos airport, a number of children were sobbing for their misplaced toys and disappeared sweeties.
For now, I can only draw slight satisfaction from the fact that if I wasn't on this flight, the horrendous journey from Gatwick-London to MMA-Lagos, would not have seen the light of day or generated so much attention on social media platforms; including several online news agents and mainstream media that ran riot with the story.
Even though other passengers were very apprehensive and ready to part with anything including an extra £40 to "fuel" the aircraft as they became increasingly desperate to get going on their journey and leave behind Gatwick which had been turned into a refugee camp with everyone looking like displaced persons, a few of us took a contrary stance to fight the underhand tactics of the airline and further expose their corrupt tendency.
I made sure I kept my colleagues at CheckOut magazine, friends in the media and active social media-users abreast of happenings as they were unfolding at every stage of the journey while I broke the full news to them upon my landing in Lagos.
I reckon that the latest Jimoh Ibrahim's "no-aviation fuel £40-donation from every passenger to fuel a plane" is the most scandalous international aviation happenstance involving Nigeria after the Umaru Dikko scandal in London in 1984 when the then Nigerian military government attempted to kidnap Umaru Dikko, sedate him in a box as a Diplomatic Bag and fly him into Nigeria.
The action, which was foiled by the British Government, seriously damaged relations between the two countries for years.
I do hope the Nigerian government will respond rapidly to this issue of Jimoh Ibrahim's Air Nigeria which has not only ruined the activities of many passengers on the flight, but has also further damaged the fragile image of Nigeria on the international scene.
Meanwhile, I must commend everyone who hit the cyberspace and our socio-political environment with the news to bring to the attention of Nigerians and the government the rot in our aviation sector.
Like I said in my last post, myself and some concerned individuals have chosen to pursue this case vigorously to a logical conclusion while working on a medium that will grant swift access for the ordinary air-traveler to report issues in the aviation industry, as they affect their safety and comfort during their air travels.