Agagu For Burial Today As More Details Emerge On Lagos-Akure Plane Crash
ABOUT THE PLANE
The Associated Airlines plane that crashed was manufactured in Brazil in 1990. Although its first flight date is unknown, the aircraft, with serial number 174, is said to be 23 and half years old. According to Airfleets.net, it had been flown by 3 United States-based airlines namely, Britt Airlines, Continental Express and JRM Air LLC.
Britt Airlines bought the plane on March 23, 1990, and marked it in US registration as N51726. Continental Express later bought it on September 1, 1990 and kept it under US registration as N51726. Before coming to Nigeria, the plane was later bought by JRM Air LCC which also marked it N 388JR. It was flown for 6 years in Nigeria by Associated Airlines before it crashed yesterday morning.
PASSENGERS ON BOARD
The Associated Airlines aircraft with registration mark 5N-BJY crashed at about 9.32 am, leaving 15 passengers dead and 5 others injured. Survivors were rushed to the hospital for treatment, while the dead were taken to the morgue. Among the survivors brought to Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH) were the son of the late Agagu, Feyi; Akintunde Akeem, Akintunde Taiwo, Akinsanya Femi, Chijioke Duru, Samson Toyin, and an unrecognised male adult. Deji, the son of elder statesman, Chief Olu Falae, who was until his death the Ondo State Commissioner of Culture and Tourism, didn’t survive the crash. The Chairman of MIC Funeral Services, Tunji Okusanya (Sr.), and his son, Tunji Okusanya(Jr.), were among those who died in the crash.
The Lagos State Government has said it will perform autopsy and DNA test before releasing their remains to their families. The manifest released yesterday indicated that the following people were aboard: Feyisaye Agagu, Femi Akinsanya, Akintunde T. Joseph, Akeem Akintunde, Tunji Okusanya, Chijioke Duru, Kingsley Amaechi, Mrs. E.O Alabi, Daji Bernard, Deji Falae, Samson Hassan, Olatunji Okusanya, Deji Afolabi, Captain Yakubu Oyinlola, First Officer Owolabi Samson, F.D Ibrahim, Eng. Soroh Elaiye, and Felix Fateye.
AGAGU’S SON,FEYI SPEAKS
Though Feyi Agagu, the son of late Olusegun Agagu is at the Surgical Emergency ward of the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, Ikeja, he has told his friends not to worry about him. At the hospital when his friend, Jide Obanikoro(the son of Ambassador Musiliu Obanikoro) visited, Feyi spoke normally, saying he became unconscious after feeling the impact of the aeroplane hitting the ground but he later woke up.
AGAGU FOR BURIAL TODAY
The corpse of late Dr. Olusegun Agagu, which was intact in the luggage compartment, was evacuated from the plane. The casket was conveyed in a NAF Ambulance with registration number AF 054 -Eo1 to a nearby NAF hospital after the crash. Agagu will be laid to rest today in his hometown, Ijuodo in Okitipupa Local Government Area of Ondo State. The funeral service will hold at St. Paul’s Anglican Church, while internment will be at the church cemetery.
The chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ondo State, Ebenezer Alabi, said the decision to go ahead with the burial was taken after a meeting with Agagu’s family members:“We just consulted with the family and family has decided to go ahead with the burial, moreso that the son of the former governor survived, the son-in-law survived and he casket did not scratch at all.So while the family sympathised with the those that lost their lives and the their loved ones, it has decided to go ahead with the burial as initially planned”.
THE LIFE & TIMES OF TUNJI OKUSANYA & HIS SON, TUNJI (JR.)
he Ijebu-born entrepreneur, Tunji Okusanya(Sr.) was the Chairman of MIC Funeral Services, a company which has been in existence for over 30 years. He brought style to funerals that people naturally associate with gloom. MIC, coined from his father’s furniture company, Magbamowo Industrial Company(a business his father started in 1946), was started in 1982. He changed the face of funeral undertaking business in Nigeria.
His son, Tunji Okusanya (Jr.), a dedicated and hardworking gentleman like his father, was also passionate about the family’s business. The graduate of Banking and Finance at the University of Lagos (UNILAG) specialised in the art of cosmetic beautification for the dead. Though he had other businesses, Okusanya Jnr. ensured he manned the background checks of the job, monitoring every aspect of the business.
OLU FALAE MOURNS
Onetime Secretary to the Government of the Federation(SGF), Chief Olu Falae has been in shock since the death of his son, Deji was announced.The 75-year-old elder statesman was speechless and just stared blankly into space, while Akure elders and chiefs were in his house to sympathise with him. Deji Falae, a lawyer-cum-politician,was married for 14 years to Ese Falae whom he met while she was an undergraduate in the University of Lagos.
GBENGA OBASANJO IN ABUJA
Former president, Olusegun Obasanjo’s son, Gbenga wasn’t on board of the ill-fated plane. He’s said to be in Abuja at the time of the crash. Chief Obasanjo was at a leadership training workshop at the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library, Abeokuta, when the news came to him. He was disturbed, but a phone conversation he had indicated that Gbenga was in Abuja at the time.
HOW THE PLANE CRASHED
The Associated Airlines plane, which was chartered, was on its way to Akure from Lagos but developed a fault shortly after take-off. It crashed close to an aviation fuel tank-farm , situated about 200 metres away from the perimeter fence of the international wing of the Murtala Mohammed International Airport in Ikeja. The plane broke into 2 with its cockpit compartment seriously burnt, while the remaining part was slightly burnt.The Commissioner of Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB), Usman Muktar, confirmed that the black box had been retrieved, while investigation has commenced. President Goodluck Jonathan has ordered a thorough investigation of the crash.
“WE HAD PREMONITION OF THIS TRAGEDY” – AGAGU’S KINSMEN
A member of the late Dr Agagu’s family, Chief Sehindemi Oguntoye, said the Ijuodo community had the premonition of this tragedy. Oguntoye, who is also the Ojomo of Osooroland said: “The community had been informed of an impending tragedy and the community had held a vigil, praying to avert it.The vigil even ended today (Thursday). It was a big tragedy for Iju-Odo community. We had, before the death of Dr Agagu, lost our traditional ruler, and now a plane crash which involves our loved ones”. Soon as the news broke of the plane crash,Ijuodo residents were in pensive mood with many gathering in front of their houses discussing.
WHAT HAPPENED IN AKURE
Before the news broke about the plane crash, eminent indigenes of the state, led by the state governor, Dr Olusegun Mimiko; wife of the deceased, Olufunke, her daughters, among others, had converged at the Akure airport to receive Agagu’s body. Soon as it was disclosed that there was a plane crash,the governor broke down, went straight into his car and drove away to the Government House in Alagbaka, Akure. Family members, party supporters and sympathisers were in tears, while dignitaries at the airport boarded their vehicles, dispersing one after the other. The crowd, that had gathered at the Democracy Park(in Akure) for the lying-in-state, was thrown into pandemonium and confusion with many weeping profusely.
CITY PEOPLE MEDIA GROUP