From Noah Ebije, Kaduna
The military authority yesterday cleared the air on the reported attack on Kaduna International Airport by bandits last Sunday, saying that the incidents happened six kilometres away from the Terminal and outside the airport perimetre fence.
The military said 12 of the bandits were killed through air strike. This was disclosed yesterday afternoon, when Kaduna State Commissioner of Internal Security and Home Affairs, Samuel Aruwan, Garrison Commander, 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.
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Briefing journalists at the scene of the attack, Brig-General Opuene said, the Kaduna International Airport was very secured, adding that, there were several layers of security at the airport, and that bandits could not have dared to attack it.
He said preliminary investigations revealed that the bandits were just passing through the back of the airport towards Riyawa village, when they sighted the securityman 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 perimetre 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 had attacked the airport.
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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 air strike 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 had been beefed up after 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 has engaged citizens in communities around the airport to scale up intelligence gathering.
He re-emphasised that there was no threat to the immediate vicinity of the airport because the military are ahead of the bandits.