A former minister of Aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode has confirmed that former president, Olusegun Obasanjo was among other Nigerians who escaped death on Wednesday at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport.
According to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), both Obasanjo and prominent Nigerians in the Ethiopian airline passenger aircraft, Boeing 777-300, included the Director General of Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA) Ambassador Ayoola Olukanni.
A NAN correspondent who was also one of the passengers aboard aircraft, ET-901, said the aircraft departed the Bole International Airport, Addis Ababa, at about 9:10 a.m., Ethiopian time; 7 a.m Nigerian time.
The almost 5-hour flight from the Ethiopian capital to Lagos had gone smoothly been until the pilot attempted to land at the Murtala Mohammed International airport, the NAN correspondent said.
According to eve reports, the pilot rather than landing on the first touchline of the runway, he over short it, due to rain and heavy wind, and landed on the third touchline.
The pilot was said to have quickly realized this, and manoeuvred the plane back air, flying out of the Lagos airport.
After hovering around between Lagos and areas suspected to be in Ogun, causing panic in passengers and crew members, the plane landed in Lagos airport, some 20 minutes after the initial false landing, the report said.
The duty manager and Chief Customer Service (Nigeria) of the airline, Mr Otori Jimoh Otan, told NAN that if the pilot had continued taxing down after landing on the third touchline, he would have overshot the runway.
“But this is an experienced pilot. He realized this immediately.
“Fortunately, the distance between when he realized the situation still permitted him to take off and renegotiate landing,” Otori said.
Speaking on the incident, the former minister said Obasanjo wouldn’t die now or anytime soon until Nigeria becomes a better place.
He wrote: I just confirmed that an Ethiopian Airline plane in which our father and leader Pres. Obasanjo was flying ALMOST crashed. Baba, I say, NOT TODAY! You shall not die now or anytime soon.
None of us will. We shall live long to make Nigeria a better place and we shall bury our enemies!