Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Omoni Oboli Speaks Out on The Recent Plane Crash and General Mediocrity in Nigeria

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The Pain of Our Negligence By Omoni Oboli

I haven’t been this sad for a long time, owing to the passing away of a friend, Deji Falae. I can’t imagine that we still lose people in that manner. We have passed through this road of plane crashes and I thought it was a thing of the past, but here we are again. What’s wrong with us? Where did we begin to operate in this spirit of hatred for our own such that we end up killing ourselves. Our negligence is not just an irresponsible act that we need to change but something that could cause the death of another human being. I’m just so saddened by this incident, because it could have happened to anyone. No one in his right mind would get on a plane if there was the least shadow of doubt to its airworthiness. That is why the passengers got on board.

There’s a process that an airplane must go through before it is cleared for take-off. Various experts, who have been paid to carry out several checks on the plane, put their expertise to work to ascertain the flight worthiness of the aircraft before it is given the all clear to fly. This process has been done by the same airline or airport staff on ground (not the minister, President or governor) trained in this duty for years, so that they can ensure the safety of the passengers, who have paid, and put their trust and their lives on the line, in the hands of the “able” experts to get on board the aircraft.

The unsuspecting passengers get on board without the slightest idea that some personal issues, incompetence or any other depraved excuses by the workers in charge that they may be able to concoct under the sun have made the aircraft their final coffin. I’m trying to paint a graphic picture of the senselessness, insensitivity to the conscience and wickedness of many people, who find time to blame the government, anyone or anything else for their irresponsible acts that have caused the death of the very people their competence was supposed to protect.

We should weep for our many acts of wickedness, which stem from our lacklustre attitude to work. The most appalling thing of all is that they also have the audacity to blame God for all their actions, calling it “an act of God.” Why would anyone call it that, when there was nothing that even remotely suggests that the plane crashed due to errors beyond human control. True to our Adamic nature, we blame God and every other thing but ourselves.

If we all spoke with one voice against our neighbours who consistently displayed incompetence in their duties at work, knowing that the blind eye we turn today could lay the foundation for an unforeseen disaster tomorrow, we would begin to see the fruits of that attitude in our nation. This culture of “manage” has caused many of us to settle for the mediocre instead of demanding the excellence we deserve. A workman delivers a job that is distasteful to the eye and less functional for the purpose the job was made to achieve and asks you (the one who pays with his hard earned money) to “manage” it, because he doesn’t want to be made to pay for his mistakes with his own money. This is a tragedy because the workman will never grow beyond that level of competence to achieve excellence in his chosen field.

The pilot of a plane has the duty to check his plane before he gives it the clearance to fly. He should not rely on his “super skills” to fly a plane that he thinks may be less flight worthy than it should. He shouldn’t use the lives of his passengers to test his skills. There are rules and regulations, and the people at the helm of affairs should ensure that they are strictly adhered to for the safety of the passengers.

Today, there are very few airlines operating in Nigeria, thank God! When are we going to wake up from our slumber and see that there should be few instead of many because safety should not be compromised and if only the few can deliver, then so be it.

Many businesses do not see the light of day solely because many complacent workers are there. They are quick to gather themselves into small groups within the office to talk about the one who has positioned himself to provide the very job that gives them the food they eat so that their mouths can curse them. How very sad! We talk behind our bosses instead of talking for our bosses. We spend their money to pretend that we follow their vision, all the while trying to see ways that we can do our own business, using their time, which they are paid for. There’s nothing wrong with doing your own business, but do it in your spare time.

I can’t imagine going on set of a movie, after being paid, and then make up an excuse to go on another movie production because I want to make more money. That is stealing! We should be more diligent and learn to cherish our jobs. Look around you and see that many others are praying to have the job that you are showing contempt for.

You will be dearly missed, Deji Falae, and my condolence to the other passengers and crew on board the ill-fated aircraft. May this serve as a wake up call for Nigerians to begin the change towards a better future.

Via Daily Independent

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