Victims, now rendered homeless after the deadly Dana air crash in Iju Ishaga, Lagos that claimed over 153 lives on 3 June, have expressed anger anger at the compensations being paid by the airline.
According to reports, some of the victims whose homes were destroyed when the Dana MD-83 aircraft plummeted into the residential area in Lagos, were at the Ayobo relief camp.
Some showed up only to receive their cheques but soon rejected it upon seeing the amounts, describing the N200,000 cheques being offered them by the airline as ridiculous.
Daniel Omowunmi, an Iju Ishaga resident whose duplex home was reduced to ruble in the crash, said the cheque he received for N500,000 was a “crooked move”, adding “it is rubbish”.
Dana Air officials say the compensations are only meant to ease the problem of finding a suitable home.
Though Omowunmi, a pastor, received a higher sum due to the magnitude of his loss, he insists the compensations don’t measure up.
Omowunmi, a pastor, said, “The way you are doing this is crooked and unacceptable. For your information, I was living in a duplex before and I cannot get a duplex for N500, 000 in Lagos.
“So, what is the money you are offering me for? As I am talking to you, my aged mother is still in the hospital because of the incident. This is an insult to us.”
One lawyer, representing 20 victims, a Mr. Gbenga Odetola, declined the offer on behalf of his clients, saying the compensation will not solve the matter of housing.
Odetoal faulted the Lagos State Emergency Agency’s categorisation of the victim, which he says is far from thorough. The lawyer said he wrote Dana Air to that effect, but got no reply from the airline and was simply invited to come collect compensations.
Meanwhile, LASEMA General Manager, Dr. Olufemi Oke-Osanyintolu, defended the victims’ categorisation as “up to international standards”.
The airlines’ Head of Corporate Communication, Mr. Tony Usidame, said, “We are doing this to let the victims know that they are not alone at this critical time.
“When the time of compensation comes, we will duly take care of them. But right now, we are doing this as a first step towards easing the accommodation problems the victims are facing.
“We quite understand that many of them feel strongly about what we are giving them today. We understand and respect their choices.”