Another plane crash and the fourth fatal one within the last year.
A Sokoto-bound ADC plane crashed shortly after take-off from the Abuja airport, killing about 104 people. There are believed to be 6 survivors. The flight manifest has not been released yet, but the Sultan of Sokoto and his son were among the victims.
On October 23, 2005, a Bellview Airlines plane crashed near Lagos killing all 117 passengers.
On December 10, 2005, a Sosoliso Airlines plane going from Abuja to Port Harcourt crashed, killing all 108 people on board. Many of the passengers were schoolchildren going home for the Christmas holidays.
In September 2006, 10 senior army commanders were killed when their military plane crashed.
In November 1996, an ADC plane crashed and killed all 146 people aboard the Boeing 727 as the pilot tried to avoid a head-on collision with another airplane.
The poor air safety record is something that Nigerians have had to live with for a long while, though this last year's crashes have created a growing sense of unease. Last night I read a BBC journalist's experience with engine problems on a local flight. The story was meant to highlight Nigerian's ability to laugh in the face of adversity. It was funny and sad at the same time. Nigerians may have been deemed the "happiest people in the world", but perhaps it's time we started facing our issues with a greater degree of seriousness and less laughter.