Airport security breach: FG should reclaim encroached airport lands

As reactions continue to trail the recent breach of security at the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos, a one time military commandant of the airport, Group Captain John Ojikutu (retired) has said that the unfortunate incident has more implications on the airport security as well as the national security.

This is just as he has called on the government to recover the lost lands around the airport that has been taken over through public and private development.

Ojikutu argued that the intruder in the incident should rather be in the custody of national security than in the custody of the airport police command for interrogation.

According to the former military commandant, while saying the suspect, from the Federal Republic of Niger should be interrogated by the national security since he breached the law of national security at the airport, he declared “The global media is listening as well as copycats. Who knows if the act was a failed attempt? Like many have said, ‘the actor’ should not be in the custody of FAAN in the tango city but with the responsible agency of national security for beaching a law of national security in the airport security programmes. The agency needs to find out where he was coming from and where he is going to; how did he get access into the airport restricted area? Did he get help from anyone and how many are they? Is this act, his first attempt or there had been other attempts? These questions and many more should be asked before you know if it is psychiatric case.”

The security expert who said what the airport needed was more than electronic fencing, emphasised the need to reclaim the lands belonging to the airport authority but has been encroached upon by some Nigerians.

His words “Much more than electronic fencing, we need to recover the lost land around the airport that has been taken over through public and private development. For many years, I have cried out that the MMA is located in the midst of complicated road network and urban development. Except these incursions are fully addressed, the efforts and effects of $1 billion of electronic fencing will come to naught.”

He cited the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) audits reports of 2004 and 2008 which advised that a secondary fence to serve as a secondary fence be constructed because the enhancement of the present fence that is stranded through its 23 km length may not be possible if the public and private buildings are not moved away from the fence to a considerable distance for a patrol road to be built around the airport.

Those houses on the airport land he said got to those locations with the collusion of previous managers of the airport which he described as another unilateral exploitation of our resources.

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