Replace Dana Plane Crash Cenotaph


The cenotaph unveiled by the Lagos State Government on Monday in honour of the 3 June, 2012 Dana plane crash victims is full of indefensible errors and must be replaced.

When the plane crashed last year in Lagos, it had 146 passengers and seven crew on board.  According to the Lagos State government, four persons were killed on the ground. However, to the surprise and shock of many, the cenotaph unveiled by the government on Monday does not contain the names of the seven staff members of Dana Air.

The names of the pilot, Captain Peter Waxton, the co-pilot, Mahendra Rathore, Engineer Widyo Utomo as well as flight attendants; Onyinye Mgbangwa, Vivienne Atangakak, Uche Ulasi and Eke Godwin are not on the cenotaph.

The cenotaph contains 156 names of the 157 people who died during the plane crash. Many are wondering where the government got other names to arrive at 156 when the names of the seven Dana staff members are not on the cenotaph.

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We believe the omission is curious and unprofessional and shows that those who built the cenotaph did not carry stakeholders along. It also shows, sadly, that there are names of people who are still alive on the cenotaph while the names of those who died are missing.

Human rights groups have also expressed concern over the broken plane on the cenotaph, saying it portrays air travel in Nigeria as unsafe and sends a negative message to children in Iju-Ishaga where the crash occurred.

We call on the Lagos State Government to remove the fake names on the cenotaph and add the names of the Dana Air crew as well as remove the broken plane on the cenotaph. It is the right thing to do.

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