Mr. Owei Lakemfa has released a public statement refuting the viral news that Dr. Dipo Fashina, former ASUU President, was missing. He clarified that the esteemed scholar was not missing but experienced flight complications while traveling to Algeria.
According to the statement, Dr. Fashina traveled on Saturday, July 1, 2023, on the invitation of the Algerian Government. However, he missed his connecting flight on Sunday, July 2, from the Istanbul Airport to Algiers and was unable to secure another connecting flight.
Further complicating the situation, Dr. Fashina lost his phone on Tuesday, July 4, and subsequently could not be reached directly. On Wednesday, July 5, a Nigerian Ambassador was with him, but their efforts to reissue or obtain a new ticket failed due to the flight being fully booked.
Originally scheduled to return to Abuja on Friday, July 7, 2023, Dr. Fashina encountered difficulties because he did not complete the first leg of his journey, and his ticket was issued by Air Algiers, not directly by Turkish Airlines. Consequently, he was unable to board the flight.
Once it became clear that Dr. Fashina did not return on the scheduled flight, his family, the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), and his comrades immediately took action. They sent someone to Istanbul and contacted the Diaspora Commission and the Nigerian Embassy in Turkey. An official was dispatched on Sunday morning to link up with Dr. Fashina and secure a flight for him on Monday, July 10, 2023.
Dr. Dipo Fashina was never missing, and his situation arose due to flight complications and the inability to obtain a ticket. Efforts were made by his family, ASUU, and Nigerian authorities to ensure his safe return.