The United States, China, France and other foreign countries have asked the Lagos State Government to release the bodies of their citizens who died in Sunday’s ill-fated Dana plane crash in Lagos, Southwest Nigeria for proper burial.The Consulate General of the affected countries met with Governor Babatunde Fashola on Tuesday and demanded the release of the bodies.
Among the members of the diplomatic community who were
present at the meeting were Consul General of France, Mr Francois
Sastowrne; Head of Office of High Commission of India, Mr Rani Malic;
Consul General of Lebanon, Mr Dina Haddad; Acting Consul General of the
United States of America; Mr Karl Cockburn, Consul General China, Liu
Xianta. Others are Mr Pontab Tobins of the Indonesian Embassy; Mr Stone
Shi of the China Civil Engineering and Construction Company, CCECC and
Agos Sutan, a director at ITPC.
Speaking on behalf of the
diplomats, the Consul General of China, Liu Xianta said members of the
diplomatic corps were very appreciative of the efforts of the State
Government on the incident.
He said the missions would want the
bodies of their nationals who had been identified after the necessary
tests had been carried out among those in the mortuary to be released to
them for burial rites in earnest.
Responding, Fashola expressed
condolence with them for the unfortunate accident, saying that the
meeting was convened to enable him convey condolences on behalf of the
government and people of the state and to share with the diplomats the
processes by which the foreign missions could identify their nationals
who were involved in the mishap.
He stated that the administration
would also like to ask the missions what the government could do to
assist them at this difficult period.
The governor advised that
they should contact the Commissioner for Health, Dr Jide Idris, the
Commissioner for Special Duties, Dr Wale Ahmed and Special Adviser on
Public Health for any enquiries or possible areas of assistance.
explained to the diplomats that the process of identifying the victims
was a complex and painstaking one with many consequences that were
economic and legal, and that there were laws that guide the process of
possibly releasing remains of some of the identified victims to their
Among the State government officials that joined the
governor at the meeting were the Deputy Governor, Mrs Adejoke Orelope
Adefulire; Head of Service, Prince Adesegun Ogunlewe, the Commissioners
for Health, Environment and Special Duties, Dr Jide Idris, Mr Tunji
Bello and Dr Wale Ahmed respectively as well as the Special Adviser on
Public/Private Partnership, Mr Ayo Gbeleyi, among others.