Tight security at Nigerian airports over attack alert

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By ‘Kanmi AKINLADE Investigator Correspondent Northern zone & Mary BASSEY Senior Investigator Correspondent Lagos/

ABUJA- SECURITY in and around six airports allegedly marked for attacks by yet to be ascertained persons had been beefed up. The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria FAAN had at the weekend, confirmed the receipt of an alert from the Ministry of Aviation over planned attacks on airports in the country. These airports were those of Kaduna, Maiduguri, Sokoto, Kano, Abuja and Lagos State. The report of the threat was contained in a memo signed by FAAN’s Deputy General Manager of Administration and Logistics, S.M. Mamman, and addressed to airport chiefs of security. The memo was dated April 9, 2021, and airports on the list are those in Kaduna, Maiduguri, Sokoto, Kano, Abuja, and Lagos.
“I am directed to convey an alert from the Ministry of Aviation regarding security threats by criminal elements against airports in Nigeria and to also request for the immediate enumeration of necessary countermeasures for the protection of all airports/facilities under your purview. Specifically, the airports top on the list for which criminals are considering carrying out attacks include those in Kaduna, Maiduguri, Sokoto, Kano, Abuja, and Lagos among others. However, all airports are hereby alerted and requested to operate at a heightened threat level,” the memo read. The airport chiefs have been directed to “submit a list of existing and additional countermeasures to address the threats, along with their cost implications where applicable. Also, they are expected to urgently convene an emergency meeting of airport security committees “to review the status of airport security, jointly recommend appropriate measures and share responsibility for effective implementation.”

However, checks at the affected airports revealed plainclothed fierce looking operatives suspected to of the Department of State Services DSS at strategic positions at these airports. At the Nnamdi Azikiwe international airport, Abuja, and other Northern airports, passengers were frisked to the pants while taxi cabs were disallowed to drop passengers at the usual departure points; with those who ignorantly did were furiously chased away. The same thing was noticed at Murtala Muhammed international airport Ikeja. In Lagos, a combination of armed Policemen and soldiers mounted checkpoints into and out of the local and international wing of the airport. Plainclothed operatives also suspected to be DSS and military Intelligence were spotted moving around while watching every steps of passengers and visitors to the airport.

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