Senator Hadi Sirika, Nigeria’s Minister of State for Aviation, has ordered an immediate investigation of a video circulating online which shows a Nigerian aircraft disembarking passengers from a flight by means of a ladder.
A statement from the Ministry said the Mr. Sirika had received the video from several online publications, as well as individuals who claimed to have been on the flight, which was an Aero Contractors charter flight from Abuja to Bauchi.
According to the statement, the incident led to serious agitations from the passengers.
“It was reported that the passengers held the airline crew to ransom and insisted that they must disembark from the cabin when they were informed that the airport could not provide a staircase for them to disembark from the cabin,” it said. “This led the crew and the airport to arrange for a ladder to disembark the passengers from the cabin.”
Following the reports, an angry Senator Sirika ordered the relevant aviation agencies to investigate the purported video and report back to him on Monday.
“The Minister warned that henceforth, any airline that abuses the international safety standards or engages in passenger abuse will be severely punished,” the statement continued. It added that he had previously received several informal reports on how passengers have been mistreated as a result of lower standards of service by airlines operating in Nigeria, warning that the practice must stop.
“The Minister promised that he will establish a channel of communication between passengers and his ministry where passengers will directly lodge their complaints to him, and assured that all complaints will be investigated and anyone found culpable will be severely punished. He urged the public to continue to expose these types of incident to enable the Aviation ministry act promptly and accordingly.”