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My Year Resolution: Not to be surprised…- Prince Charles Dickson

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The DG of NCARs, Captain Usman, said in a letter that the use of a ladder by Aero Contractors Airline to disembark passengers from Boeing 737-500 aircraft in a non-emergency situation was contrary to its approved aircraft-handling manual.

Days after a Nigerian airliner, Aero Contractors Airlines, disembarked passengers from a plane with a ladder in Bauchi State, the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) imposed an “applicable sanction” on the airliner in line with Nigerian Civil Aviation Regulations (NCARs).

According to the NCAA, the sanction runs into millions of Naira.

The Director General of the Regulatory Authority, Captain Muhtar Usman, said in a letter that the use of a ladder by Aero Contractors Airline to disembark passengers from Boeing 737-500 aircraft in a non-emergency situation was contrary to its approved aircraft-handling manual.

“Therefore this is a violation of Part 9.2.4.2(b) of NCARs which in part attracts a civil penalty. All relevant agencies made useful submissions during the course of the investigation.

“In view of the safety implications of your action you are hereby sanctioned in accordance with the provisions of Part 20.2.3(15) of the NCARs.

“Although the incident did not result in any mishap, the aircraft is airworthy and the Crew well qualified to operate the flight.

However, it is viewed as a breach and resultantly, a fine running into millions of Naira have been clamped on the airline to serve as deterrence and to forestall any similar infraction by any other airline operator”.

Captain Usman further stated that the Captain of the flight was similarly fined for failing to comply with the provisions contained in the aircraft manual.

After the incident, the airliner released a statement, saying that the use of the ladder was against the airline’s wish and operation safety guidelines.

It claimed that although the airline crew tried to calm down the passengers to wait while the equipment was being fixed, the passengers insisted on their own volition to disembark against all safety protocol of the airline, using the ladder.

THIS HAPPENED IN NIGERIA, IN 2015; trust me, the regulatory agency won’t tell how much the millions are, that’s Nigerian style, after all the passengers insisted on their volition against expert advice and disembarked via a ladder. Only the Almighty knows what will happen in 2016, and indeed what will not happen, one thing is for sure I won’t be surprised.

2015 was the year the PDP fell, it could not keep its promise to hold on to power for 60 years, it was the year of APC, and already they are promising utopia and almost making PDP-like mistakes. Away from politics it was the year that gave us Dasukigate and many other gates that eventually led nowhere, and note: I will not be surprised of new gates in the incoming year.

I recall in 2014, my resolution was to steal, not just to steal, but steal more, and in that admonition I had stated in Hausa that “Kowa ya dade yaga dadau”. -Meaning (Whoever lives long, will see wonders). So, I lived long enough and indeed I have seen wonders, I saw a lot of it in 2015, much of it very surprising. So, in 2016; I shall not be surprised by what I see, including more ladder like drama.

 Meanwhile, permit me to share again my narrative two years ago, and please don’t be surprised. While on an international flight recently I witnessed thievery or stealing. (Here in Nigeria, corruption is the word).

Seating adjacent to me across the aisle was this woman who was having four center seats all to herself because the plane was not full.

Ordinarily I could not have noticed the woman but for one man who periodically visited her, then would leave after a while, at first I thought they were something like husband and wife but my curiosity was drawn when I discovered that the man was not always at ease when he sat with the woman.

As soon as the man sat in the company of the woman, he would dart his eyes left and right, front and back, making sure that no one was watching him, after a while of repeatedly doing this I decided to really check out what was happening, why the man seem not at ease or peace whenever he paid this nocturnal visit, then I saw that the man always planted a kiss or rather stole a kiss after looking all around to make sure no one was watching.

The dude who probably was in his fifties was sitting somewhere else but periodically come to the woman to steal a kiss and some cuddling otherwise known as romance.

His escapades reminds me of those of us who picked a few Nairas from our father’s ‘coatsubla’ hanging in his wardrobe or ‘picking’ change from our mom’s piggy bank where she put sales money from her local bean ball (akara).

We took our time, checked all the environment to make sure all is right before we snatch but one thing we do not know is that, some eye must see us, just as this dude did not know that KOC ‘ji odu anya ele ya’. (Looking at him with the upper eye).

I knew that the woman was not his wife, for no man steals what belongs to him and no man comes into the plane and started wobbling like jelly towards plucking a kiss from his wife, the same woman he lives with, we also have a saying that, “clear conscience fears no accusation” thus a man will not be surveying his surroundings to make sure no one is watching before he plants a kiss or before he snuggle to his wife.

After witnessing the man’s coming and going several times I forgot about the issue till we deplaned, as people stood to clear immigration I noticed the same woman standing alone, all by herself with the man nowhere to be found, and what I not only suspected and believed was then confirmed that he was not the woman’s husband but just a “thief” out to steal “waters” probably belonging to another man.

While this incidence happened on the airplane I remembered what the bible said about stolen waters: “Stolen waters are sweet, and bread eaten in secret is pleasant. But he knoweth not that the dead are there; and that her guests are in the depths of hell” Proverbs 9:17. (Holy Bible)

Nigerians are gullible; it is easy to catch them on religious or ethnic leanings. So, come 2016, very little significant change would occur. And I shall not be surprised, whether fuel sells at N85, or at the current price of over N200, I have barely had electricity and charges have been increased: Whether I get more of it, or none will not surprise me.

We have another budget of trillions; I will not be surprised that it’s full of “okwu oyinbo and turanchi” to the extent of the language it is written in, however if there is a 50% execution I shall not be surprised either…because they often say so, but we hardly see it so.

I will not be surprised that we may just have gradually forgotten the Chibok girls and all the unanswered questions. Because technically Boko Haram has been dealt with, and indeed that is not surprising, for everything has a beginning and an end.

If Nigeria will take a significant step forward in governance, development in most sectors, it would be a function of how much positive surprises our leaders spring on us. The current administration has to really start surprising us, the honeymoon is over, they should show that they are in charge…if they get to work on just a few of their promises, maybe Nigerians like me are in for surprises that, only time will tell.

Prince Charles Dickson, freelance journalist, 2348033311301, 2348184880370, Alternate Mail: pcdbooks@outlook.com, Skype ID: princecharlesdickson

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