Nigeria’s National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has engaged the services of Fulani herdsmen, local hunters and farmers in the continuing search for the Beechcraft 1900D operated by the local charter airline Wings Aviation, which went missing Saturday during a flight from the commercial city of Lagos to the Bebi Airstrip in South-east Cross River.
The private Thisday newspaper Wednesday quoted NEMA spokesman Mohammed Nakorji as saying the decision to engage the local people was to ensure ”a deeper penetration of the forest” in the search for the plane.
He said the cooperation of the locals was secured through the assistance of the chairmen of various councils in the state, who had offered to mobilise the villagers to aid the search operations.
The inability of the authorities to find the missing plane has created a furore across the nation, with the upper Senate describing it as a national embarrassment and mandating its Committee on Aviation to investigate it.
On Sunday, the Minister in charge of aviation, Felix Kyate, said the wreckage of the plane had been found in a village near the airstrip and that the three crew members on board had died.
But the regulatory Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) later denied the plane has been found. Panapress.