Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Nigeria minister - air crash 'act of God'

09 October 2013, 21:08

Lagos - Nigeria's aviation minister has caused outrage by calling air crashes inevitable acts of God, as she sought to deflect criticism of her record after the country's second deadly accident in 15 months.

Stella Oduah was speaking to journalists at the presidential villa on Monday, three days after sixteen people were killed in a small passenger plane that crashed shortly after take-off outside Lagos airport's domestic terminal.

In June last year, a Dana Air flight crashed into a Lagos apartment block, killing 163 people in the country's worst airline disaster in two decades.

An investigation has yet to reveal the cause.

"We do not pray for accidents but it is inevitable... We do everything to ensure that we do not have accidents, but it is an act of God," she said. "We do not speculate on the cause of accidents."

Oduah later qualified her comment, saying that everyone from baggage handlers to regulators, airlines and management shared responsibility for passenger safety and that a preliminary report into the latest crash should be out in a couple of weeks.

But Nigerian newspapers and Twitter exploded with angry responses. Former Aviation Minister Femi Fani-Kayode was quoted in Vanguard local daily as calling for her resignation.

The Punch newspaper quoted popular blogger Japheth Omojuwa as saying: "If God is in charge of safety in the aviation sector, we are then duplicating roles by paying a salary [to the minister]... When you start passing the buck to God, then the time has arrived to pass on your resignation letter."

Oduah's spokesperson was not immediately available for comment.

The belief that fatal accidents are acts of God, or of malevolent spirits, is common in Nigeria and many other African countries.

Air crashes are relatively frequent in Africa's second biggest economy, where a sophisticated financial sector and large professional class depend on flights, although safety improved a lot in the years just before the Dana crash.

- Reuters


Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
Wilson Ochieng
Apologise for attack on Auditor G...

Apologise for attack on Auditor General, President Uhuru Kenyatta is told by Kisumu Senator Anyang Nyong'o. Read more...

Submitted by
Wilson Ochieng
Quit if you can't fight corruptio...

An MP has told President Uhuru Kenyatta to quit office if he cannot fight corruption. Read more...

Submitted by
Wilson Ochieng
Investigate Uhuru, Ruto for corru...

Investigate President Uhuru Kenyatta and DP William Ruto's offices over corruption, CORD leader Raila Odinga has said. Read more...

Submitted by
Victor Tinto
Its a 1 horse race to State House...

Its a 1 horse race to State House, DP William Ruto has mocked the CORD Coalition. Read more...

Submitted by
Victor Tinto
Enjoy your time left in power, We...

CORD Co Principal Moses Wetangu'la has told the Jubilee Coalition to enjoy its last few months in power before it is voted out in the 2017 elections. Read more...

Submitted by
Victor Tinto
Stop hiding in State House and sa...

ODM MP's have called on President Uhuru Kenyatta to release drought aid and to stop sitting on public funds. Read more...