Last Friday, there was a massive security breach at the Sultan Abubakar III International Airport, in Sokoto, as supporters of the former governor of Sokoto, Aliyu Wamakko, invaded the airport’s tarmac on motorcycles and on foot. They came all the way in order to mount a guard of honour and welcome the senator to the state.
The actions of the unruly supporters endangered the lives of passengers in the aircraft landing at the airport at the time. Thankfully, there was no mishap.
Who’s in charge of ensuring that crazy things like that do not happen in Nigerian airports?
The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) is the organization empowered by law to ensure safe operating of air transport in Nigeria. It is the failure of that organization which led to the security breach at the airport.
Section 3(I) of the FAAN Act gives FAAN the responsibility “to provide adequate facilities and personnel for effective security at all airports.”
Everyone knows those responsible for the breach at the Sokoto airport – Ex-Gov. Wammakko and his supporters. The former governor even began his slow procession into Sokoto right from the airport. So what does FAAN have to say about the matter?
In a statement on Sunday signed by its General Manager, Corporate Affairs, Yakubu Henrietta:
– FAAN “condemned in absolute terms, the invasion of the runway of Sultan Abubakar III International Airport, Sokoto by loyalists of some politicians who broke through the airport fence and invaded the airport in a bid to receive their political masters.”
– It accused the “political loyalists” of violently accessing restricted areas at the airport, breaking down the airport fence in the process and resisting all security machineries in place.
So these people not only breached security, but they also vandalised property. Yet FAAN has no intention of taking any further action on the matter. It could not even mention names.
It only advised the general public, “especially politicians and their supporters to ensure compliance with all rules and regulations at the airports, as we will not compromise security and safety at our airports for any reason.”