Thought Leadership

Lost and found planes, DNA testing and the intrigues of our beloved country…

After “disappearing” from the skies for 6 MONTHS, the remains of the Beechcraft 1900D aircraft belonging to Wings Airline aircraft was found by hunters in Busi in Obanlikwu Local Council Area of Cross Rivers State on the 2nd of September 2008.

…not to worry! In steps the Nigerian Accident Investigation Bureau (yes! they have a website) created out of the Ministry of Aviation in 2006.

Their stated mission is

To carry out a highly professional accident investigations(sic) with highly trained and dedicated aviation professionals using well equipped facilities”

The Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB) is reported to have “rushed” to the scene…and its spokesman Mr. Tunji Oketunbi….saying

“…the agency is awaiting the result of the DNA test on the remains of the crew members sent to the National Hospital in Abuja to be churned out by the hospital management…”

Even in more detail…. Thisday reported the same spokesman as saying:

“…the results could be released as early as Monday next week…”.

…and then giving some more details…

“…Samples were taken from the parts deposited at the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital to the Abuja National Hospital because of non-availability of required facilities and manpower for Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA) testing at the Calabar hospital”…

…then 9th of September…to the surprise of Nigerians waiting keenly for DNA results from our “ultra modern” National Hospital…….Leadership reports:

“…The Chief Medical Director of the National Hospital, Abuja, Dr Segun Ajuwon, said yesterday that the hospital does not have the capacity and facilities to carry out DNA tests…”

…We do not have the capacity yet to carry out any DNA test; no samples have been sent to us but even if they do, we are not in a position to do such tests…”

“…I am not aware of any government hospital in the country that does DNA test,” Ajuwon told NAN….”


I remembered ….the advert below in the papers recently…


“DNA parentage and identity test is not just any test…it is about who you are!. …On the question on how life began…IGNORANCE IS NEVER BLISS!”

Kai…our country!

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed people can change the world; indeed it is the only thing that ever has…Margaret Mead

By Chikwe Ihekweazu

Chikwe Ihekweazu is an epidemiologist and consultant public health physician. He is the Editor of Nigeria Health Watch, and the Managing Partner of EpiAfric (, which provides expertise in public health research and advisory services, health communication and professional development. He previously held leadership roles at the South African National Institute for Communicable Diseases and the UK's Health Protection Agency. Chikwe has undertaken several short term consultancies for the World Health Organisation, mainly in response to major outbreaks. He is a TED Fellow and co-curator of TEDxEuston.

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