Most of you probably heard the rumours yesterday that the Dana plane that crashed was distressed for a while but could not make an emergency landing because the airspace was closed for 2 hours for the Presidential Jet carrying Dame Patience Jonathan. Absolutely not true. Here is a rejoinder from the office of the First Lady...
Our attention has been drawn to the orchestrated plan to politicize the Sunday Dana Air crash in Lagos in which many people lost their lives, through rumours about the possible cause of the accident citing VIP movement involving the wife of the President.
We consider it callous, inhuman and devilish for anyone to have thought of wrapping such national calamity in political garb by insinuating that the plane crashed because the airspace was closed for the First Lady's movement in Lagos.
For the avoidance of doubt, the First Lady arrived Lagos at about 2pm on Saturday, 2nd June, 2012 for a private engagement and was billed to leave for Abuja on Monday, 4th June, 2012.
In compliance with her itinerary, the First Lady arrived Lagos on Saturday. She was at a public event on Sunday when the accident occurred and promptly abandoned the ceremony as a mark of respect for the victims and retired to the State House, Marina. She left Lagos at exactly 13.15hrs on Monday, 4th June, 2012, according to schedule.
It is therefore surprising that some mischievous persons will see this moment of National mourning as an opportunity to blackmail and impugn the First Lady's integrity.
This is the time for all Nigerians to be sober and pray for the repose of the souls of the victims and not a time to subordinate the interests of our nation to narrow self-serving interests.
Let us all put the interest of the Nation first in whatever we do.
Mrs. Jonathan had no intention to travel on Sunday and never did. Like all Nigerians, she has been mourning the dead.
Special Assistant to the President