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Nweke says newsmen are wicked, callous

Posted by From JOE NWANKWO, Abuja on 2006/10/31 | Views: 707 |

Nweke says newsmen are wicked, callous


Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mr Frank Nweke Jr, has berated the Nigerian media over the coverage of Sunday plane crash involving the Aviation Development Company (ADC) in Abuja, describing the media as callous and insensitive. He vowed to sanction any organisation he finds wanting.

Confirms nine passengers survived

Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mr Frank Nweke Jr, has berated the Nigerian media over the coverage of Sunday plane crash involving the Aviation Development Company (ADC) in Abuja, describing the media as callous and insensitive. He vowed to sanction any organisation he finds wanting.

Speaking on Monday, during a visit to the National Hospital, Abuja, to see survivors of the plane crash, a visibly angry Nweke barred newsmen from accompanying him into the wards.
According to the minister, "it is callous and insensitive of the media to attempt to interview the survivours.

I have witnessed such disasters elsewhere and it is not done. It is callous and insensitive of you and I would sanction any media found culpable. Wait for me outside, I will go in and see them and talk to you later."

Briefing newsmen after the visit, Nweke, who was taken round the hospital by the Chief Medical Director, Dr. Olusegun Ajuwon, condoled with the families of the victims of the crash and expressed sadness that he had had to speak to the nation thrice over plane crashes.
Said he: " I just want to begin by paying my condolences to the families of the victims of the air crash. I am sad that I have had the misfortune to speak to the nation on three or four air crashes as information minister.

"It is a sad situation. Since the last air mishap in October last year, the Federal Government has intensified efforts to renew our aviation infrastructure to argument instrumentation in the sector and also try to improve the capacity of the operators in the area to provide quality services and with the recent plane crash it means that we have to intensify efforts in this area," he stated.

Nweke pointed out that contrary to reports on the international media, nine persons survived the crash.
"I have gone round to see the survivors of the crash. Nine of them survived in all, contrary to reports in the international media. We are grateful to God for this.

"From my discussions with the chief medical director (CMD), who has taken me around, most of them are stable and we are hopeful that they would achieve full recovery. The recommendations of the presidential committee on the reform of the aviation sector are being implemented even as I speak to you, that is why I said that government is committed to renewing our aviation infrastructure," he said.
The minister further stated that the government remains committed to making Nigerian skies one of the safest in the world just as he cautioned against rushing to hasty conclusions in adducing reasons for the air crash. He however, refused to make comments on the call for the sack of the Aviation Minister, Prof. Babalola Aborishade.

The CMD of the National Hospital, Dr. Ajuwon, told reporters that the survivors are in stable conditions, pointing out that one of the survivor in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) is out of danger. He said that the hospital would take care of the survivors, adding that there may not be need to take any of them abroad for treatment.

According to him, "they are in stable conditions. The one that came in unconscious is awake now. The injuries they sustained were not above what we can cope with and by the grace of God we hope to discharge all of them soon.

We have two men and the rest are female among the survivors.
"But for the magnitude of the accident in normal circumstances, one of them is ready to go home. We would not rush into discharging him. We want to make sure that nothing comes that we have not seen now. We have psychologists that are counseling them. The one in intensive care unit is better than when he came, but is still in the ICU," he added.



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