TWO weeks ago, the news filtered into the country particularly the country’s aviation sector of how a Kenya Airways plane flew in a corpse of an unclear status into Nigeria through the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos.
Ordinarily, the incident would not have generated the kind of outrage it generated if not for the the country where the corpse was flown from into Nigeria.
It is no longer news that the said corpse of a Nigerian was flown by the airline from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), an African country presently being ravaged by the deadly Ebola virus which has killed many of their citizens.
The name Ebola will quickly remind any Nigerian the unfortunate loss of many innocent Nigerians to the disease which was imported into the country through the Lagos airport by the late Liberian born American diplomat, Patrick Sawyer aboard an Asky Airline flight.
The late diplomat having contacted the Ebola virus headed to Nigeria to attend a conference and in the process spread it amongst all those who directly or indirectly had contacts with him across the country.
It was therefore not a surprise that Nigerians kicked against the flying of the corpse by Kenya Airways from the ravaged country to Nigeria.
The good news is that the minister of health, Professor Isaac Adewole has allayed the fear of every Nigerian by stating that the result of the test carried out on the corpse showed there was no cause for alarm as the corpse was free from Ebola.
However, since the unfortunate incident happened, different people have been reacting with the majority coming hard on the airline.
In all honesty, Kenya Airways’ action calls for serious scrutiny in view of the fact that the airline failed to contact the relevant aviation authorities of the decision to fly in a corpse into the country at a critical time when there is a fresh outbreak of Ebola.
Although the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) had queried the African carrier, it is hoped that all the necessary action would be taken against it as a way of showing that Nigeria’s aviation sector is run in line with global standard and recommended practices.
These African countries should be told to stop taking Nigeria for granted under the guise of African brotherhood.
It is hoped that the NCAA will do everything possible to send a signal to the other countries especially the African carriers not to abuse the privilege they enjoy through the unlimited rights granted unto them as they operate into the country.
For the Kenya Airways to have flown a dead body from a country ravaged by the Ebola disease into another country without informing the aviation authorities of that country is mischievous and unfair.
In view of the sad experience brought by the late Patrick Sawyer and the latest violation of rules and regulations by Kenya Airways, the time has come for the aviation authorities to be more vigilant in all the international airports.
The need to be more vigilant becomes pertinent as this will prevent a situation where any foreign airline will rubbish the security and safety network at the airports.
What happened during the the late Patrick Sawyer should not be allowed to repeat itself under any guise therefore, any airline found wanting in the area of violation of rules and regulations regarding flight operations into another country should be dealt with.