Daily Guide, Oct 28 -- The National Democratic Congress (NDC), Member of Parliament for Lawra/Nandom, Hon Dr. Benjamin Kunbuor yesterday, stunned Parliament with the chilling story of how he escaped death by the whiskers.
According to him but for an eleventh hour cancellation of his travel plans, he would have been one of the perished passengers aboard the recently crashed Bellview airliner in Nigeria.
The MP made the revelation during tribute time in Parliament House yesterday, which was devoted to the victims of the Bellview plane crash and the departed wife of Nigeria's President Olusegun Obasanjo.
MPs used the occasion to pay glowing tributes to the departed souls especially the 10 Ghanaians among the 117 who perished and Mrs. Stella Obasanjo, the official wife of the Nigerian Head of State.
This followed a tribute statement read by the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hon Akwasi Osei-Adjei.
He mentioned that a Boeing 737 aircraft, operated by a privately-owned Nigerian Airline, Bellview crashed in the Ogun State of Nigeria shortly after take-off on Saturday, October 22, 2005.
The deputy minister stated that the aircraft was on a scheduled flight from Lagos to Abuja when it crashed, killing all the 117 passengers onboard including 10 Ghanaians.
He recalled that a day after this tragedy, the country was informed about the death of Nigeria's First Lady, Mrs. Stella Obasanjo, noting that the woman was a loving mother who will be remembered for her unflinching love for children, especially orphans.
He pointed out that during her life-time, she established a foundation-Children Trust- to provide safe haven for mentally challenged and orphaned children in Nigeria.
Hon Osei Adjei gave the names of the perished Ghanaians as Mrs. Jennifer B. Hayford, Deputy Manageress, Accra Branch of the National Investment Bank (NIB), Mr. Samuel Nii Ankrah, Head of Information and Compuer Technology Department, NIB, Mrs. Susan Borbor, Legal Officer, NIB, Mr. Stephen Kojo Techie-Mensah, Legal Officer, NIB and Mr. Emmanuel Quaye, Director of Finance at the ECOWAS Secretariat.
The rest are Mr. Ernest Eshun, co-pilot and his wife, Mrs. Sarar Eshun, believed to be of Eriterian origin, Mr. E. Odartey Lamptey, Mr. Akwasi Adomako, Mr. Obeng Amankwaah and Mr. Joseph Haydon.
According to the deputy minister, the ministry has in connection with the crash, received a delegation from the ECOWAS Secretariat to formally announce the death of their staff to the ministry and his family.
He intimated that the delegation gave the assurance that the secretariat would assist the family of the late Quaye to give the deceased a befitting burial. He pointed out that the ministry is in contact with officials of the NIB and is providing the bank with consular assistance in respect of their dead staff. Hon Osei-Adjei observed that the deceased compatriots from the ECOWAS and NIB died in the course of national and sub-regional duty.
It is in view of this that on behalf of the government and people of Ghana he wished to pay a special tribute to Mr. Quaye and the four staff of NIB. He noted that their contributions to national and sub-regional development, are being acknowledged on the floor of the house.
A minute's silence was observed for the souls of the departed persons.