KUNLE Rotimi-Akodu, a friend to Deji Falae, one of the victims of the ill-fated chartered flight that crashed in Lagos on Thursday, said he had been feeling disappointed to have missed the flight before receiving the news of the incident.
Rotimi-Akodu said he was meant to be with his friend, Deji, who was a commissioner in Ondo State, in the Associated Airlines plane for the Lagos to Akure journey but that he providentially got to his friend’s house late and missed the flight.
He was in tears at the crash site on Thursday.
He told our correspondent, “My last encounter with him was on the phone. We spoke about how we could meet and he told me that he had some official duties, especially the funeral programme of the former governor of their state. So, we planned to meet in Lagos. We still spoke on Tuesday and he said he would be in Lagos.
“We were supposed to see but unfortunately I couldn’t make it. I called him and he said I should join him today so that we would return to Akure together on the same plane that crashed. He said I should make haste to meet up, but I had an emergency issue to resolve.
“By the time I actually got to his house, the housemaid told me he had left and the wife had left home too.
“The housemaid said, ‘Oga just left, he said you should find your way to Akure.’
I felt disappointed for him to have done that, but because of the kind of person he was, I began to plan my trip to Akure to meet him and incidentally, I learnt that a plane crashed as I wanted to leave home and that Deji was also involved in the accident.
“I was dumb-founded when I heard. I looked up in my room and saw the catalogue of pictures we took together and tears began to drop from my eyes. I looked at the text messages we shared and began to picture myself being with him in the plane because that was the initial arrangement, if not that I was a bit late to join him.
“Honestly, it is still like a dream. I don’t want to believe Deji is dead. I believe he is alive and he is still going to live his normal life. We have lived together for years in Dolphin Estate. I have known him for over 15 years, when he was still studying in University of Ife. We have always been close since late 80s.”