Following the planned terror attacks on major Nigerian airports, the authorities have announced that security around the nation’s airports will be heavier. The ministry of aviation in the country received alert over planned attacks on airports across the country including Kaduna, Maiduguri, Sokoto, Kano, Abuja, and Lagos.
A memo dated April 9, 2021 signed by Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) deputy general manager of administration and logistics, S.M. Mamman and addressed to airport chiefs of security hinted that criminal elements were already planning attacks at the airports and that the airport managers had to enact countermeasures.
This notification is coming barely a month after dual attacks happened in Kaduna Airport on March 6, 2021 and a week later on March 14, 2021 one of which was successful with the kidnap of 10 staff of certain aviation agencies.
The memo read, “I am directed to convey an alert from the Ministry of Aviation regarding security threats by criminal elements against Airports in Nigeria and to request for the immediate enumeration of necessary countermeasures for the protection of 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 amongst others. However, all airports are hereby alerted and requested to operate at a heightened threat level.”
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”.
Reacting, Director of Press Ministry of Aviation, James Odaudu who said he had no knowledge of the letter said however that with what has transpired in Kaduna of late, the Ministry may be aiming to forestall a recurrence of incidents that happened in Kaduna recently.
Odaudu said: “Honestly, I am not aware of the letter. Probably, it is a measure to curtail what has been witnessed in recent times especially in Kaduna Airport. I have not seen the letter and I cannot comment specifically on it. But, of course with what has happened in Kaduna, the Ministry is putting in place measures to guide against recurrence.”