Posted by By Emeka Mamah, Rotimi Ajayi & Ben Aganda on
A SURVIVOR of Sunday’s ADC plane crash initially counted among the dead is alive and kicking.
ABUJA – A SURVIVOR of Sunday’s ADC plane crash initially counted among the dead is alive and kicking.
Miss Esther Amoda, an NYSC member at the Sokoto Airport and daughter of renowned political scientist, Professor Moyibi Amoda, was the first to escape from the ill-fated plane unaided.
She found her way to a private hospital in Abuja for treatment after which she was advised to show her face to the appropriate quarters for proper documentation. But by then, she had been listed as one of the dead.
Governor Ibrahim Idris of Kogi State whose three daughters survived the crash, yesterday, described the escape as wonderful and marvelous.
Meanwhile, the authorities of the National Hospital have set stringent conditions for the release of the corpses of the accident victims, while 18 more corpses arrived Sokoto yesterday but without that of Deputy Governor Garba Mohammed.
Esther’s father, Prof Amoda, told Vanguard on phone last night that her escape was like going to the lion’s den and returning alive. He said she had gone to Abuja to renew her passport when the accident happened. She is a continuity announcer at the Sokoto Airport. She had only bruises, and was in shock. But she is okay now, according to him.
Escape of my daughters wonderful,says Gov Idris
However, Gov. Ibrahim Idris of Kogi State whose three daughters survived the ADC plane crash in Abuja, yesterday described the escape as wonderful and marvelous. "God is wonderful," he told a delegation from the state who came to rejoice with him at the new Kogi Governor’s Lodge in Abuja.
"This is a superlative show of mercy to me and my family by Almighty Allah. I lack words to express my gratitude to the Almighty Father for this favour. I can only call on Nigerians and indeed humanity in general to join me in thanksgiving for His benevolence," he said.
Turning to the state Chief Judge, Justice Umaru Eri, who sat by his side as he watched a network television news showing the crash site, Idris said: "You mean people survived from this?’’
The governor’s daughters, Jamila, Zainab and Aisha, are among the nine survivors of the crash who are receiving treatment at the National Hospital, Abuja.
Idris told his visitors that his daughters were returning to school in Sokoto when the crash occurred. Jamila, who is still in the Intensive Care Unit of the hospital, is said to be "responding" to treatment.
18 corpses arrive Sokoto
Remains of 18 victims of the ADC plane crash arrived in Sokoto yesterday but without the body of the deceased deputy governor, Garba Mohammed. The corpses arrived the capital at about 3.30 p.m. in an Air Force plan. They were escorted to Sokoto by a delegation led by the Minister of State for Works, Malam Yahaya Abdulkarim.
The corpses included those of Senators Badamasi Maccido and Sule Yari Gandhi.
Others were Alhaji Waisu Yaro, Executive Director, Corporate Service, Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Lagos; Education Commissioner, Dr Usman Junaid and Dr Umar Abuabakar.
The rest were Mohammadu Bello, the grandson of Second Republic President Shehu Shagari; Shagari’s son, Abdulrahman and aide to Senate President as well as Alhaji Umaru Babuga of the Sultanate Council.
Similarly, the remains of Magaji Rafin Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammadu Bello; Alhaji Bello Kware, a Revenue Mobilisation and Fiscal Allocation Commissioner and Hajia Fatima, a relation of Sen.
Dahiru Tambwal and Tambwal’s wife, Ama’u Tambwal, also arrived. The corpses were collected by their families for proper burial.
Sokoto dep gov yet tobe buried
Alhaji Garba Mohammed was reportedly burnt beyond recognition hence he has not been buried.
However, the body of late Senator Badamosi Maccido who also died in the ADC air crash of Sunday with his father and son was buried yesterday in Sokoto together with the Secretary to the Sultanate Alhaji Baguda Dage, who also died in the same ADC air craft..
Senator Sule Yari Gandi was buried in his home town in Rabah local government area of the state without the bodies of his mother, wife and child who were also involved in the crash because their bodies could not be found.
But Alhaji Waisu Yaro, former Executive Director (Operations), Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) was buried in his Bodinga village. The late Yaro, a leading aspirant for the 2007 gubernatorial seat in the state, was said to be on his way to Sokoto from Abuja to collect the nomination/expression of interest form at the state secretariat of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) when he died with a son of former President Shehu Shagari, who also was on his way to collect form for the House of Representatives.
The principals of the three Federal Government Colleges located in Sokoto State were among those buried in Sokoto yesterday.
Hospital sets tough conditions
The authoritied of the National Hospital have set stringent conditions for the release of the corpses of the victims of the ADC Flight 053.
Vanguard gathered that the management took the decision following mutilations on the corpses. These have made it difficult to identify some of the corpses. Besides, the corpses were taken to the hospital without any form of identification.
"As I am talking to you now, nobody will release any corpse to any relation so as not to spark any controversy. Before the corpses would be released, the management may have to demand that certain conditions be met by those seeking to collect the corpses.
"We must be able to authenticate that whoever is seeking to have a corpse released has a proof that he or she is a next of kin. This is very important and in order to be able to do this, such a person must have a surety. The surety would have to be a senior civil servant on level 14 and above. Certainly, no civil servant at that level would want to lose his or her career by making false claims. Apart from this, the level 14 officer would be expected to get a letter from his or her Permanent Secretary.
The source added that officials of the Ministry of Aviation must authenticate claims of those seeking to collect corpses. He said: "The above conditions are standard and it won’t be peculiar here because there was nothing like next of kin indicated on the manifest."
Meanwhile, there was heavy security around the nine survivors receiving treatment at the hospital yesterday. Apart from the President and the Vice President who went to the hospital to pay them visit, nobody was allowed into the hospital to see or talk with the survivors. According to hospital sources, all the survivors were in stable condition. It was learnt some of them may be discharged by this weekend.