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I feared leaving my wife, 3 kids behind in a near plane crash on way to Lagos – Rochas Okorocha

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Senator Rochas Anayo has recalled how he narrowly escaped plane crash while flying on the the defunct Nigeria Airways from Jos to Lagos enroute Kaduna.

Rochas stated this while receiving executive members of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Abuja chapter, at the Unity House, Abuja.

Okorocha representing Imo West Senatorial district on the APC party platform had narrated his experience with others while on board some many years ago.

Having escaped what he described as ‘a black night of his life’, Okorocha expressed his faith and hope for a better Nigeria, saying God spared his life for a reason.

He said “I look forward to a time when all religions in this country will gather to be praising God and celebrating God irrespective of our faith and religion.

“I was involved in a plane crash many years ago, this was around 1993, where over sixty passengers were killed; this was on Nigeria Airways. I boarded the plane from Jos, I was reading the story of the killing of Ken Saro Wiwa on the papers as I sat in the first class section of the plane, I just heard that Saro Wiwa was killed some few hours ago and my whole system was shut down because I felt bad, I could imagine the pain he could feel as a young man with life while dying.

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“A lady walked into the plane but was told that the plane was full so a space was made for her around the side of the captain, but she refused and walked away. I then imagined to myself that suppose this plane crashes will it be said that this lady was the chosen one?

“I became a bit uncomfortable, I didn’t know what was happening as the air hostess walked around and announced that we should tighten our seat belt, we were on the runway, I still wasn’t comfortable and I felt something was wrong.

“The captain then said we should be relaxed, then just about fifteen minutes into the air we noticed that there was some funny movements.

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“The air hostess kept going in and out of the door then suddenly we just heard a noise of a mini explosion somewhere in the plane and there was smoke in the plane, at this point the captain still said nothing to us.

“There was a wild spark in the plane, at this time people began to panic everywhere all I could remember was my wife and my children.

“They were three of them still little at that time, I could see them playing with my wife in a flash on my mind, at that point I knew that death was real and life was real.

“There was this Fulani man around the corner making prayers and people were responding to the prayers including Christians, also there were Christians who were praying and calling the name of God and everyone was responding including the Muslims.

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“By force we became united, there was no Muslim, there was no Christian, there was confusion everywhere, and in a crisis situation we all became one irrespective of your religion.

“And suddenly we landed apparently with force in the airport but inside the bush, at this shocking moment I was just calm watching to see how this death will come.

“The problem actually started when the plane came to a stop.

“I remembered the chemistry of combustion I learnt in school and the fear came on me, then the fire came up as an explosion, we were left with the option of jumping out of the plane which was about a storey building without the stairs, many passengers died not as a result of the explosion but as a result of a truck that was sent to quench the fire and mistakenly climbed on people who were lying down on the floor helplessly, it was a tragedy I experienced that day” he narrated.

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