APC, PDP primary: FAAN beefs up security at Abuja airport

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By Chinelo Obogo

As the dates for the presidential primary election of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) draws closer, the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) has revealed that it has beefed up security at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Aiport, Abuja.

The PDP will hold its presidential primary on Saturday, May 28, at the Moshood Abiola National Stadium, while the APC would hold theirs at the Eagles Square, both in Abuja.

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The Acting General Mangager, Corporate Affairs of FAAN, Faithful Hope-Ivbaze, was not available for comments but Mr. Danjuma Ahmed, an Assistant General Manager in the department of Aviation Security (AVSEC) in FAAN, told Daily Sun that security has been beefed up at the Abuja airport because of the primaries of both parties, to ensure that there is no breach.

Danjuma who is also the chairman of Air Transport Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (ATSSAN), FAAN chapter, said security has been beefed up at the access gates to address the issue of crowd control and that the agency is doing its best to ensure there is no breach.

“Naturally, the air is the fastest means of movement for politicians and most of them make use of their private jets. So we have beefed up security especially from our access gates the apron gate to address the issue of crowd control. More security officials would also be stationed at the ramp and we also have to ensure that the private jets don’t encroach on restricted areas,” he said.

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In a related development, Daily Sun learned that the Anambra International Airport would have been shut down this week after air traffic controllers and other essential service providers decided to down tools when they were told to vacate the hotel accommodation provided for by the state.

The workers at the state-owned airport who are members of staff of the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) refused to go to work after they were told to leave the hotel in which they were lodging; an action that would have disrupted flight operations to the Anambra.

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President, National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA), Abayomi Agoro, confirmed the development to told Daily Sun but explained that after the completion of the airport, the state government approached NAMA to deploy staff there in order to provide services and the agreement was that the state would provide accommodation for staff.

However, he said they were surprised when their staff informed them that they have been told to either pay for the hotel accommodation provided by the state government or vacate it. This development made them decide to down tools until the situation was resolved. But, at the time of filing this report, Agoro said the state government had sorted out the accommodation issue and that the management of NAMA is also making arrangements to ensure more permanent accommodation is provided for the workers.

The airport is state-owned and the state is responsible for the operation of the aerodrome. Every other service to make the airport functional is paid for by the state government which built the airport.