The management and staff of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) have expressed shock at the sudden death of the corporation’s spokesman, Levi Ajuonuma in the Dana plane crash on Sunday.
In a statement released from the United States where he is attending an official engagement, the Group Managing Director of the corporation, Austen Oniwon, said that the “NNPC as a family is united in faith with God who is all-knowing; it is only God that can comfort and console us at this dark hour.
“I pray for the repose of the gentle souls of our departed colleagues, members of their families and other Nigerian and international passengers and crew in the ill-fated aircraft and for God to grant the nation, the nuclear families that lost their beloved ones the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss,” the statement reads.
Mr Oniwon further said that he “extends his deep condolences to Mr president, the honourable minister of petroleum resources, members of the NNPC and the Nigerian oil and gas industry family that have lost a number of their colleagues in the disaster.”
He said encouraged the management and staff of the NNPC to “Keep faith” in “this trying period.”
Mr Oniwon’s statement was signed by the General Manager, media relations department, group public affairs division of the NNPC, Omar Farouk Ibrahim.
As a broadcaster, Ajuonuma, had anchored many shows on radio and television on Nigeria Television Authority (NTA) and Ray Power before he joined the NNPC in 2003 as the Group General Manager (Public Affairs), a position he held until his death.
He started his career in 1977 as an announcer with Imo Broadcasting Service (IBS) in Owerri, before he left in 1979 for Huntington College, Indiana, USA, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications.
He later got a Master of Arts and Doctor of philosophy (PhD) in Mass Communication from the University of Minnesota in 1983 and 1987, respectively.
The late Ajuonuma got an MBA from the Plymouth State College of the University System of New Hampshire two years later.
Okikiolu Olukayode, Manager, Pipeline and Depot Project, Nagidi Ibrahim, Senior Contract Specialist to Brass, LNG, Inuwa Ahmad, the Deputy Manager, National Petroleum Investment Management Services (NAPIMS) were also NNPC staff involved in the Dana plane crashed that killed over 150 people near the airport in Lagos.