Smarting from the helicopter crash that claimed the lives of former Governor of Kaduna State, Patrick Yakowa, former National Security Adviser, General Andrew Azazi, and four others last Saturday in Bayelsa State, the nation would have witnessed yet another disaster but for providence, as an Overland Airways flight from Ilorin to Lagos suffered technical problems on take-off.
A source told Vanguard that the flight, OJ 1188, had difficulties stabilising in the air as the landing gear failed to retract after take-off from Ilorin Airport, Sunday.
The pilot was said to have continued the journey to Lagos, with the flight witnessing turbulence as the landing gear failed to retract.
A passenger on the flight said the aircraft wobbled its way into Murtala Muhammad Airport with its landing gear hanging dangerously throughout the flight.
Vanguard could not confirm the incident from the operator of the airline, Capt. Edward Boyo, last night as calls put through his mobile number remained unanswered.
However, Director-General of Nigerian Civil Authority, NCAA, Dr. Harold Demuren, who confirmed the development, said the aircraft on take-off at Ilorin Airport, hit an object which made it impossible for the landing gear to retract after take-off.
He said the pilot was, however, able to manipulate the aircraft to land safely in Lagos, without injuries to the passengers.
The location in Ikogosi in Ekiti West Local Government Area of Ekiti where the first plane crash was recorded in 1942, is to be converted to tourist centre.
The Special Adviser to the state Governor on Tourism Development, Mr. Segun Ologunleko, who inspected the crash site on Wednesday in Ikogosi-Ekiti, said the decision was to turn the state into attractive tourism destination in West Africa.
The Ikogosi town is also famous for being the home to warm and cold water co-existing together on the same spot.
He said government’s determination to make the state a place where people could visit and see the relics of the airplane would complement the appeal of the warm spring in the area.
Speaking on the crashed plane, one of the elders of the Community, who claimed to be an eye witness to the incident, Pa. Olu Adeniyi, recalled that the plane crashed on April 12, 1942 at about 8.15 p.m.
According to him, it was a war plane that contained arms and ammunition, including explosives that went off with loud bang throughout the night.
Visible at the site, were the relics of the two engines of the plane and other aluminium and metal materials.
Park Geun-hye has been elected as South Korea’s first female president. She defeated her liberal rival Moon Jae-in. Ms Park, 60, would replace her party colleague Lee Myung-bak.
Combined figures from the networks released after polls closed gave Ms Park 50.1% of the vote over Mr Moon’s 48.9%.
“This is a victory brought by the people’s hope for overcoming crisis and economic recovery,” she told supporters in the capital Seoul.
Economic growth has fallen to about 2% after several decades in which it averaged 5.5%.
With the country having split almost equally along party lines, the BBC’s Seoul correspondent Lucy Williamson says Ms Park will have to work hard to improve relations with her detractors.