Thursday, September 3

Nigerian airports fully secured against Boko Haram - FAAN

Airports across the country are fully secured against acts of terror that may arise from the dreaded sect, Boko Haram, the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria has declared.

This is coming as passengers, airport users and sources working with various agencies at airports revealed that screening exercises at major airports, particularly for international travellers, had been thorough in recent past.

The Defence Headquarters and the Department of State Services, on Saturday, announced that they were hunting for members of Boko Haram at airports and major public facilities in the country.

The security measure became necessary as the DSS revealed that it had uncovered a plot by Boko Haram to bomb the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.

The intelligence agency also smashed a spy network mounted by the terrorist group at the airport.

Although there was no significant increase in the presence of armed security officials at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport on Wednesday when our correspondent visited the facility, it was however gathered that the screening of international travellers had been thorough in the past three weeks.

When contacted to know if such screening were done in other airports across the country, officials of FAAN stated that aviation security officers of the authority had been on red alert months before the Boko Haram spy was apprehended at the Abuja airport.

In fact, they maintained that the spy was arrested by AVSEC officers before he was handed over to the DSS for further interrogation.

The deputy spokesperson for FAAN, Mr. Onyekwere Nnaekpe, told newsmen that the country’s airports were fully secured against acts of terror, stressing that the aviation authority had always maintained international standards in terms of security.

He said, “The airports are well secured. To say we are now making improvements because something happened can be seen as if we are not ready for such occurrences. The airports are operated under the International Civil Aviation Organisation standards and these international standards are not lowered at all.”

When told that there had been intense security alertness coupled with thorough screening of international passengers at the NAIA recently, he said that, “It has been so. The bomb detectors you see at the Abuja airport have been there all along. Even in Lagos, the bomb detectors have been there for over a year and in other major airports. The DSS and other security apparatus have been there as well.”

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