From Noah Ebije, Kaduna
The military authority has on Monday cleared the air on the reported attack on the Kaduna International Airport by bandits on Sunday, saying that the incident occurred six kilometres away from the terminal and outside the airport perimeter fence.
The military said 12 of the bandits were killed through airstrikes.
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This was disclosed Monday afternoon when Kaduna State Commissioner of Internal Security and Home Affairs, Samuel Aruwan, Garrison Command 1 Division Nigerian Army, Brig-General Uriah Opuene and Air Force Base Commander, Air Commodore, Ademuyiwa Adedoyin led journalists on an assessment tour of the attack scene.
Briefing reporters at the scene of the attack, Brig-General Opuene said, the Kaduna International Airport is very secure, adding that, there are several layers of security at the Airport and that, bandits could not have dared to attack it.
According to him, preliminary investigations have revealed that the bandits were just passing through back of the Airport towards Riyawa village when they sighted the security man engaged by the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) to watch over their metrological equipment around the axis.
‘As you can see, this place is about six kilometres 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. They just took advantage of that to pass a message that they have attacked the airport,’ he said.
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‘There are several layers of security at the Airport, this is the first layer and 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, so we engaged them through the use of ground forces. Then we called for an airstrike and a helicopter was deployed and, from the air report, about 12 of the bandits were killed.
‘So, 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,’ he said.
Also speaking, the NAF Base Commander, Air Commodore Adedoyin, said security around the Airport general area has been beefed up since the security of the Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA) was breached last year, adding that, bandits don’t have the audacity to attack Kaduna Airport.
The security commissioner, while assuring that the airport is safe and secured, said the state government was engaging citizens in communities around Airport to scale up intelligence gathering.
He reemphasised that there was no threat to the immediate vicinity of the airport because the military are ahead of the bandits.