Former president Olusegun Obasanjo has denied being involved in a near plane crash with other prominent Nigerians in the Ethiopian airline passenger aircraft, Boeing 777-300.
Passengers were said to have also included the director general of Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA) Ambassador Ayoola Olukanni.
Also reported to have been in the plane was Prof Samson Tunde Adebayo, the director of ports inspection, National Agency For Food And Drug Administration And Control (NAFDAC) as well as scores of Nigerians and other nationals.
The passenger aircraft, ET-901, had reportedly departed the Bole International Airport, Addis Ababa, at about 9.10 am, Ethiopian time; 7 am Nigerian time.
A NAN correspondent, who was said to have been among the passengers, had recalled that the almost 5-hour flight from the Ethiopian capital to Lagos had been smooth until the pilot attempted to land at the Murtala Muhammed International airport.
A BBC Pidgin tweet reported the denial below. The headline translates to mean he was not involved in the air crash.
An earlier report had claimed that rather than landing on the first touch line of the runway, the pilot over shot it, due to rain and heavy wind, landing on the third touchline.
NAN had reported that on realising this, the pilot quickly manouvered the plane back air, flying out of the Lagos airport.
The plane was said to have hovered around between Lagos and areas suspected to be in Ogun, causing panic in passengers and crew members and reportedly landed some 20 minutes after the initial false landing.
Obasanjo was said to have attended a Stakeholders Dialogue on Continental Trade and Strengthening Implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) which ended on Tuesday, May 28, in Addis Ababa.
However, the former president denied the report and confirmed to BBC Pidgin he was in Ogun state.
In another news report, former president, Goodluck Jonathan has called on Nigerians not to give in to despair as the country marks 20 years in democratic practice as what he described as “a long spell of military dictatorship.
In a statement on Wednesday, May 29 which marks the beginning of President Muhammadu Buhari’s second term in office, the former president congratulated the country in its democratic strides.
Jonathan urged the citizens not to give in as the country battles insecurity, poverty and unemployment.