Nigeria’s political class united in a show of solidarity following a helicopter blip that involved Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo on Saturday.
The said incident happened in central Kogi State as the veep’s chopper was about landing. he later tweeted that he was safe and sound and was seen going about his normal campaign routine.
From the main opposition candidate, through to the heads of legislature (both in opposition) and staunch opponents Osinbajo’s party, the All Progressives Congress, APC; messages of condolence flooded social media platform, Twitter.
Nigerian go to the polls on Feb. 16 to elect a new president in an election where the incumbent Muhammadu Buhari and his deputy have been touring the country to woo voters for a second term in office.
The cause of the accident was not immediately clear. Spokesman Laolu Akande said the vice president was continuing his engagements in Kogi state. “VP Osinbajo’s chopper crash lands in Kabba, but he and the entire crew safe,” the spokesman tweeted.
“Dear Vice President @ProfOsinbajo, I just received news of the crash of your helicopter in Kabba, Kogi State. I am happy to note however that all is well with you and your delegation. -AA,” opposition leader Atiku Abubakar wrote on Twitter.
Atiku’s running mate, Peter Obi, posted a similar message: “I’m grateful to God for sparing the lives of @ProfOsinbajo and his entourage in a helicopter crash earlier today. May the Almighty protect all of us in this season.
“I enjoin everyone to remain prayerful, for our country and our families,” his message added.
Senate president, Bukola Saraki, speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara and an ex-governor of Ekiti State – a staunch critic of the APC all tweeted thanking God for the safety of the vice president.
I join all Nigerians in thanking Almighty God for sparing the life of Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, who survived a helicopter crash over Kabba, Kogi State today. https://t.co/bSLo0ahTKQ
— Abubakar Bukola Saraki (@bukolasaraki) February 2, 2019
I join His Excellency, Prof— Rt Hon Yakubu Dogara (YakubDogara) February 2, 2019
ProfOsinbajoin thanking the Almighty God for saving him and his team from any fatality in the unfortunate incident in Kogi State. I urge relevant authorities to conduct due diligence checks on all govt owned aircraft to prevent a re-occurrence.
I rejoice with VP Yemi Osinbajo and thank God for keeping him alive today. I wish him quick recovery from whatever minor injuries he could have sustained in the crash.
For me, sanctity of life goes beyond politics and I pray that God will continue to safeguard his life.
— Peter Ayodele Fayose (@GovAyoFayose) February 2, 2019
OfficialPDPNigexpresses shock over the crash of the helicopter carrying Vice President ProfOsinbajo, in Kabba, Kogi state, on Saturday. The PDP thanks God for the safety of Vice President Osinbajo, members of his entourage and the crew. pic.twitter.com/KeMSP8dKVS
— Official PDP Nigeria (@OfficialPDPNig) February 2, 2019
So glad VP Yemi— Ben Murray-Bruce (benmurraybruce) February 2, 2019
ProfOsinbajois safe. I wish him well and want him to stay alive so we can all work together as patriots to get this nation on the road to greatness. We may be in different parties and support different candidates, but he is first and foremost a human being.
Nigeria’s airlines are plagued by problems – delays, cancellations and fuel shortages that are almost expected from domestic passengers. However, safety records have been improving in recent years.
Political party candidates have been campaigning across the country to market their plans on how they intend to lead one of Africa’s top economies over the next four years, with the key issues being corruption, security and the economy.
Buhari is hoping his anti-corruption agenda can win him a second term while the main opposition candidate Atiku Abubakar has said he would consider an amnesty for corruption suspects and privatise the state-owned oil company NNPC.