Arik pas­sen­gers stranded in Ghana

Daily Trust - - NEWS - By Ben Atonko & Daniel Adugbo

About 40 Nige­ri­ans trav­el­ling to Dakar on Arik Air flight were left stranded on Sun­day in Ac­cra, Ghana when the cap­tain re­fused to pro­ceed to Dakar, Sene­gal.

Among the stranded pas­sen­gers was a Nige­rian pro­fes­sor of Geo-Physics Charles Ofoegbu.

The pro­fes­sor, whose wife was killed in the De­cem­ber 2005 Sosoliso crash in Port Har­court, missed a 9am meet­ing in Dakar as a re­sult of the in­ci­dent, he told Daily Trust.

The pi­lot of the Boe­ing 700 Se­ries air­craft took off in Abuja to Dakar via Ac­cra. The pi­lot re­fused to pro­ceed upon ar­riv­ing Ac­cra, cit­ing fa­tigue, Prof. Ofoegbu said.

He told Daily Trust that apart from the air­craft not leav­ing Abuja on time, there was trou­ble in the air.

“As soon as the pi­lot took off, the air­craft made so much noise. Some people thought it was the kitchen ap­pli­ances that were rat­tling. I said no, this is not kitchen ap­pli­ances - this has to do with the body of the air­craft,” he said.

Many pan­ick­ing pas­sen­gers pressed the alarm but­ton which prompted the pi­lot to start “en­cir­cling and then people were won­der­ing what was go­ing on,” the pro­fes­sor said.

Spokesman for Arik, Mr. Banji Ola, said it was not pos­si­ble for a pi­lot to com­plain of fa­tigue to a pas­sen­ger and that the claim that air­craft’s door was half shut mid-air was un­true.

“It’s not pos­si­ble [for a pas­sen­ger] to buy a ticket for Dakar and be dumped in Ac­cra and the air­line did not make ar­range­ments,” Ola said.

He said no such com­plaints had been brought to his knowl­edge but promised to in­ves­ti­gate the mat­ter.

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