•We killed 12 bandits, attacked scene 6 kilometres from terminal
•FAAN, NCAA speak on airport security
By Lawani Mikairu & Ibrahim Hassan-Wuyo
The military authority yesterday dismissed various media reports that bandits shut the Kaduna International Airport during an attack on the facility on Saturday, saying, “The incident happened six kilometres away from the terminal and outside the Airport perimeter fence.”
According to the military authority, 12 of the bandits were killed during the incident.
Briefing Journalists at the scene of the attack, Garrison Commander, 1 Division Nigerian Army, Brigadier-General Uriah Opuene, Air Force Base Commander, Air Commodore, Ademuyiwa Adedoyin, in the presence of the Kaduna State Commissioner of Internal Security and Home Affairs, Mr. Samuel Aruwan, said: “There are several layers of security at the Airport, and the bandits could not have dared to attack it. Preliminary investigations have revealed that the bandits were just passing through the back of the Airport towards Riyawa village, when they sighted the security man engaged by the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency, NAMA, to watch over its metrological equipment around the axis.
“As you can see, this place is about six kilometers away from the Airport terminal. The bandits were only passing behind the airport perimeter fence when they saw the security man engaged by NAMA and they fired at him. There are several layers of security at the Airport, this is the first layer. Even this first layer was not breached, because from the moment of hearing that shot, it took our men just about three minutes to get here from the next layer of security.
“On arrival, the bandits were already running away. We engaged them through the use of ground forces. Then, we called for air strike and a helicopter was deployed. From the air report, about 12 of the bandits were killed. As you can see from the distance, the insinuation outside that, the terrorists took over the Airport is not correct. If the terrorists had entered, they would have met us there.”
On his part, the NAF Base Commander, said security around the airport general area had been beefed up since the security of the Nigerian Defence Academy NDA, was breached last year, noting that “bandits don’t have the audacity to attack Kaduna Airport.”
Meanwhile, the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, FAAN, has said there is increase in security surveillance at the airport.
Similarly, the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA, said new measures are being taken to strengthen security at all the nation’s airports.
Speaking on the incident, Acting General Manager, Corporate Affairs, FAAN, Mrs Faithful Hope- Ivbaze, among others, said “A reinforcement team was called in from the NDA and other security teams at the airport are now on joint patrol of the perimetre fence of the airport. The airport security, that is, Avesec team, has released its security vehicles for this combined security team to patrol the perimeter fence of the airport.”
Also, NCAA’s General Manager, Public Affairs, Mr Sam Adurogboye told Vanguard that “Safety and security is key and entails collective efforts. This cuts across Federal government, State governments, Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, FAAN ,etc. We are all concerned but we cannot discuss security issues for obvious reasons.
“Definitely, measures are being taken to strengthen the security apparatus at all Airports and not in Kaduna alone.”
In the same vein, former Airport Commandant, Muritala Muhammed Airport, Lagos, Group Captain John Ojikutu ( rted) said there should be regular ” networking of government security agencies workshop ” to review security at airports.
He said, ” If FAAN and the NCAA did not see this attack coming after the invasion of the Kaduna airport staff quarters and the NDA next to the airport then who do they think should be responsible for keeping watch over a target of economic importance as the airport? “