Dana Plane Crash
By Senator Iroegbu
Abubakar Abana, 44, was until his death, a hard-working and brilliant level 14 officer, and Special Assistant to the Permanent Secretary, Office of Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF). He had been a source of joy and inspiration to both his family and office.
He was well loved, but nobody imagined that his life would be painfully cut short while on a trip to represent his boss in an official assignment. And that was how his life was brought to an abrupt stop that fateful Sunday, aboard the ill-fated Dana Flight.
It was indeed a gloomy day for the Abana family when THISDAY visited the deceased’s home at Lome Crescent, Wuse Zone 7, Abuja where family and friends gathered to comfort and commiserate with them.
According to a close friend and lawyer of the Abana family, Mr. Umar Bangari, the deceased was originally billed to board Air Nigeria, but resorted to flying Dana Air as he could not catch up with the Air Nigeria flight.
Bangari said he was with Abana on Saturday, June 3, 2012-- a day before the unfortunate incident. They both discussed the planned journey to Lagos on official assignment.
“I was with him on Saturday and that was about 4pm, and he was scheduled to travel to Lagos the following day on official assignment through Air Nigeria around 1.50 pm or thereabout, but on getting to the airport, he was told that he was late and decided to board Dana Air, which was the next available flight,” he explained.
He said that his death was a great loss to the family and created a big vacuum, which would be hard to be filled for a long time.
“Abana family will be affected to say the least. You can imagine the death of a vibrant young man of 44 with a family of three.
“You know that in the African culture apart from his immediate family of three children and a young wife, there are other extended family members over whom he is the bread winner. So totally we can say about 20-30 people have lost this man as direct beneficiaries,” he said.
Still in pain, the elder brother of the late Abubakar, Mr. Mohammed Abana, agonised over the death of his younger brother, whom he described as a “very gentle nice boy”.
The senior Abana explained how the news about the death of his late brother brought pains and agony to the entire family, causing the deceased’s wife to faint three times and was hospitalised till 1pm on Monday, when she was finally discharged.
He said that the absence of Abubakar in a large household of 43 children would create a huge challenge to him and the entire members of the family.
“His death is a shocker to our lives. He is a very nice man and everybody was shocked about his sudden demise but there is nothing we can do and we leave everything to God’s will and destiny. God creates humans, he gives and takes; and only God knows why he was taken now,” he said.
Also counting his loss was Abubakar’s boss, the Permanent Secretary, SGF, Mr. Aliyu Ismaila, who said that he “will forever miss him”.
According to him, “his death is a blow to me. Only yesterday (Sunday, June 3, 2012) around 11 am, he came to my family to introduce himself in a special occasion so that they can know him better, little did we realise we were bidding him final farewell.
“He is very honest, loyal, hardworking, punctual, dependable and reliable staff. I will forever miss Abana because today on getting to my office, I realised it was very big for me (without him around). I could not do anything. You know firstly, he comes to office before me and that is loyalty because for me punctuality means loyalty.
“He asks me of the day’s tasks and accomplishes them before 4pm. To me, his death is a great loss and also to the nation because it is the contributions of individuals (like him) that keeps our country alive.”