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Olusegun Obasanjo, former Nigerian president and other Nigerians escaped death by the whiskers, on Wednesday at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport when an Ethiopian Airlines plane almost crashed.
The former president and other prominent Nigerians were among the passengers onboard an Ethiopian Airlines plane that found it difficult to land at Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos because of bad weather.
the Ethiopian airline passenger aircraft, is a Boeing 777-300,
The incident reportedly caused panic among the passengers, including the Director of Ports Inspection, National Agency For Food And Drug Administration And Control, Prof Samson Adebayo; and Director-General of Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture, Ambassador Ayoola Olukanni.
The Ethiopian Airlines aircraft, ET-901, had departed the Bole International Airport, Addis Ababa, at 9:10am, Ethiopian time (7am Nigerian time). Five hours after flying, the plane attempted to make a landing at the Lagos Airport but failed.
Rather than landing on the first touch-line of the runway, the pilot over short it, due to rain and heavy wind, landing on the third touch-line.
NAN reports that, on realising this, the pilot quickly manouvered the plane back air, flying out of the Lagos airport.
After hovering around between Lagos and areas suspected to be in Ogun, causing panic among passengers and crew members, the plane landed in Lagos airport, some 20 minutes after the initial false landing.
Obasanjo was said to have attended a stakeholders’ meeting on African Continental Free Trade Agreement, which ended on Tuesday in Addis Ababa
Many passengers came out of the plane thanking God for sparing their lives.
The General Manager, Corporate Affairs, FAAN, Mrs Henrietta Yakubu, said the weather made it difficult for the plane to land at first attempt.
“There was bad weather so the aircraft had a missed approached, went up again and landed safety. At the second attempt he landed safety,” she said.
But the media aide to Obasanjo, Kehinde Akinyemi, who spoke with the punch correspondent in Abeokuta on Wednesday, said the report was not true.
He said, “He (Obasanjo) was with a popular comedian Ali Baba in his house in Abeokuta.
“Many people have called to find out and we have told them that there was nothing like a plane crash.
“Baba travelled. He came back from Ethiopia. There was nothing like a plane crash. The plane did not have any issue.”
Akinyemi added, “He was even shocked that people are spending false information that he was in involved in a plane crash .
“And immediately he got back home he started playing ayo game. Nothing happened.”