“Ladies and gentlemen, we have just touched down at Abuja airport,” he said to a crowd of people clapping their hands in excitement and gratitude. Why you ask, and I will answer but wait first. Although I had seen passengers clap on other flights, it was my first time on a flight in Nigeria where I saw passengers clap, and I was moved to tears.
The flight was scheduled to depart at 7:10 pm, but I had to be proactive and avoid stories that touch, so I left my hotel to be at the airport before the flight. After three-plus hours for a 45 minutes journey caught in traffic, I arrived at the hot airport some minutes past 1 pm. With no seats available in the terminal, I dashed into a restaurant to sit and do some work but use the excuse of food. I ordered for my meal, but after finishing one wrap of eba, I could go no further because my tummy wanted to embarrass me with noise. I wish I can put it in words. Off to the toilet, I downloaded what I had just uploaded to help me feel comfortable and do my work. I am grateful to the restaurant owner because he allowed me to stay and work until 6:30 pm when I went through the security check. I was in for a shocker as it was announced that the flight would be delayed. A second delay was announced. When we finally boarded the plane to move, it was as though the steward read my mind when he said, don’t assume we are going by road to our destination because, for over 10 minutes, we were still taxiing and not taking off. He later announced that the usual runway was closed and we had to use a different runway, howbeit at another airport which explains the delay in take-off.
Just as the steward finished making us laugh by saying the plane was not being pushed, an announcement from the cockpit echoed through the cabin that we are turning back to base as someone had attempted to open the cargo hole to steal. No complaints and we went back. It was announced a security check would be conducted, but my suspicion started when I saw the pilot stepping out to do a security check. I asked myself, what has the pilot got to do with checking bags. Some people were already insinuating different thoughts when a passenger noticed smoke behind the plane. That caused more agitation as no clear communication was made of what was wrong. Some people asked that they be refunded, and they disembarked from the flight. During this period, people who had not said a prayer before the flight remembered to pray with giant Bibles I have not seen before coming out of bags. I was terrified when the subject shifted from bags to smoke but had to stop by fear by reminding myself I am under covenant and just returning from the Adullam boot camp. A peace that can only be from God flooded my heart, and I was so sure that nothing would happen but went ahead to say a prayer that God, if anything should happen and this is it, please accept my soul. We all confirmed to the steward whose bag it is when he touches yours. After almost 1 hour of checks, we were back to taxiing. This time though, the pilot did not have to say switch off your phone. Some passengers took the responsibility to ask others to switch off their phones. The explanation was that even if the plane should crash, it should not be due to a phone being turned on. Everything humanly possible to keep us safe was done, and we were back in the air. You could still feel the tension in some voices, especially when we experienced turbulence. That is the back story of what motivated the clapping when it was announced that we had touched down at Abuja International airport. The steward went on to crack everyone up when he mimicked some of the gestures some women made out of fear. I am grateful to God that the flight ended with each of us smiling because it could have been a different story with flight P47130