Friday’s Emirates flight from Sao Paulo to Dubai diverted to Lagos, Nigeria for a medical emergency.
Goodness knows if I was the passenger with a medical emergency, I’d nope to be nearer someplace other than Lagos for treatment — but indeed the route from Sao Paulo doesn’t really provide better options.
The man “complained of severe abdominal pains and later suffered three recurrent seizures” and was hospitalized once on the ground as a result of ingesting cocaine.
I certainly hope the passenger recovers. Media reported that doctors were ‘fighting to save his life.’
Most disturbing to me, though, is that reports on the passenger’s condition are coming from Nigeria’s National Drug Law Enforcement Agency and that “four other passengers tested positive for narcotic ingestion” and were detained.
In the midst of a medical emergency, other passengers were being given drug tests.
Emirates 777 Copyright:TEA / 123RF Stock Photo
Col. Muhammad Mustapha Abdallah, the Chairman and Chief Executive of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, “called for stiffer penalty against drug trafficking.”
Although to believe that passengers on a flight from Sao Paulo to Dubai were trafficking drugs into Nigeria one would have to believe that the medical emergency was contrived with the intention of forcing a diversion because Nigeria is otherwise so difficult to get into.
“NDLEA is taking necessary measures to protect and promote the image of Nigeria and will resist any attempt to undermine the gains so far recorded in the fight against drug control. Drug traffickers must be severely punished to reduce the number of persons getting involved in the criminal act. All hands must be on deck to condemn drug trafficking in its entirety,” Abdallah said.
LEADERSHIP Sunday recalls that the NDLEA has beamed its search light on flights originating from Brazil and Dubai in recent times because of its notoriety in cocaine trafficking.
Drugs are far more likely to be smuggled out of Nigeria to Dubai than for a Dubai-bound passenger to try to get their drugs into Nigeria.
It seems like this should be treated as a medical emergency, not an attempt to round up additional suspects or an opportunity to grandstand against drugs.